Chair Professor Eleanor Bourke

Professor Eleanor Bourke is a Wergaia/Wamba Wamba Elder and is Chair of the Yoorrook Justice Commission.

Professor Bourke has held executive positions in community, state and federal government agencies. She was a Co-Chair of Reconciliation Victoria for three years, Board Member for the Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Council for twelve years and a Board Member of Native Title Services Victoria. In 2005, Professor Bourke participated in Victoria’s first positive native title determination for the Wotjobaluk, Wergaia, Jardwa, Jardwajarli and Japagulk peoples.

Professor Bourke has had an extensive career in academia. She was a Professor of Aboriginal and Islander Studies and Director of Aboriginal Programs at Monash University. She was also previously an Associate Professor and Director of the Aboriginal Research Institute in the University of South Australia. She was inducted into the Victorian Honour Roll for Women in 2010 and the Victorian Aboriginal Honour Roll in 2019.

Professor Bourke has previously provided strategic guidance and advice to the former Victorian Treaty Advancement Commissioner, Jill Gallagher AO, in supporting the establishment of the First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria.

Eleanor Bourke

Dr Wayne Atkinson

Dr Wayne Atkinson

Dr Wayne Atkinson is a Yorta Yorta Elder and is a Commissioner for the Yoorrook Justice Commission.

Dr Atkinson was President of the Koori Heritage Working Group which was involved in major reforms to cultural heritage legislation in 1987. He was heavily involved in the Yorta Yorta Native Title Claim from 1994 to 2002.

Dr Atkinson is a distinguished academic, having completed a PhD on the ‘Yorta Yorta Struggle for Land Justice’ in 2000. Dr Atkinson has worked at the University of Melbourne as a Senior Lecturer in Indigenous Studies (2000-2007) and as Honorary Senior Fellow since 2013. He has taught Indigenous Studies at Deakin, Victoria, Monash, La Trobe and Australian Catholic Universities. He has also been a Visiting Indigenous Scholar at the National University of Ireland in Galway since 2006.

Sue-Anne Hunter

Ms Sue-Anne Hunter is a Wurundjeri and Ngurai illum Wurrung woman and is a Commissioner for the Yoorrook Justice Commission. 

Ms Hunter was the National Sector Development Manager for SNAICC – National Voice for our Children. As Deputy Chair of SNAICC between 2013 and 2016, Ms Hunter spoke on the Royal Commission into Institutional Sexual Abuse of Children in Care and sat on the working group for the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children.

Ms Hunter is a trained social worker and has worked in the Aboriginal children and family welfare field for over 18 years. She previously had oversight of all the cultural clinical healing services at the Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency. Ms Hunter also was Co-Chair of the ‘Family matters’ campaign to end the over-representation of Aboriginal children in out-of-home care.

Sue-Anne Hunter

Maggie Walter

Distinguished Professor Maggie Walter

Distinguished Professor Maggie Walter is an Aboriginal Tasmanian (Palawa) woman and descendant of the Pairrebenne People of the North East Nation and is a Commissioner for the Yoorrook Justice Commission.

Professor Walter was nominated as a Facilitator at the 2017 Referendum Council Tasmanian consultations and attended the Uluru Convention as a Palawa representative. She was Chair of the Indigenous Evaluation Committee of the National Indigenous Australians Agency.

Dr Walter is a Distinguished Professor of Sociology at the University of Tasmania and is a leading expert in systemic disadvantage and inequality, and in First Peoples data sovereignty where she facilitated VOICE community consultations in Tasmania and Victoria.

Professor the Honourable Kevin Bell AM QC

Professor the Honourable Kevin Bell AM QC is a non-Aboriginal Victorian and is a Commissioner for the Yoorrook Justice Commission. 

Professor Bell was a Justice of the Supreme Court of Victoria for 15 years. He played a pivotal role in the implementation and operation of the Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006. He served as President of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Appeals Tribunal between 2008 and 2010.

Prior to his judicial appointment, Professor Bell practised as a Barrister at the Victorian Bar for 20 years, eight years of which he served as Queen’s Counsel. During his time at the bar, he worked on leading native title cases, as well as leading human rights, administrative law, constitutional law, and industrial law cases.

In 2017, he received the award of Member of the Order of Australia for his ‘significant service to the law and to the judiciary, to native title and human rights, and the community.’ He is currently the Director of the Castan Centre for Human Rights Law.

Kevin Bell