Chair Professor Eleanor Bourke AM
Professor Eleanor Bourke AM 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's Wergaia family was recognised in Victoria’s first positive native title determination now known as the the Wotjobaluk case. This native title included five First Peoples: 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 chaired the Working Group to the former Victorian Treaty Advancement Commission, led by Commissioner, Jill Gallagher AO, in supporting the establishment of the First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria. She presided over the election of the Board of the First Peoples Assembly on 1 December 11, 2019.
In 2022 Professor Bourke was awarded Member of the Order of Australia.
Sue-Anne Hunter is a proud Wurundjeri and Ngurai Illum Wurrung woman currently holding the titles of Deputy Chair and Commissioner with the Yoorrook Justice Commission.
Ms Hunter is a child and family services practitioner who has focused her career around using culture as a foundation for healing trauma and addressing the impacts of colonisation on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and their families and communities. She has over twenty years’ clinical experience responding to developmental, trans-generational and community trauma. She is a recognised leader in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander child and family services sector, developing rights-based, transformative practice responses, which empower Aboriginal people to heal from the continuing effects and processes of colonisation.
Ms Hunter previously had oversight of all the cultural clinical healing services at the Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency and also was Co-Chair of the ‘Family Matters’ campaign to end the over-representation of Aboriginal children in out-of-home care. She has extensive experience in the governance and leadership of Aboriginal community-controlled organisations where she draws on her practice experience and commitment to self-determination and rights-based approaches to service delivery.
Distinguished Professor Maggie Walter
Maggie Walter (PhD; FASSA) is Palawa (Tasmanian Aboriginal), a member of the Tasmanian Briggs family, and Distinguished Professor of Sociology (Emerita) at the University of Tasmania.
A previous Pro-Vice Chancellor, Aboriginal Leadership (2014-2020) Distinguished Professor Walter is the author of six books and over 100 journal articles and research chapters in the fields of Indigenous sociology and Indigenous Data Sovereignty. Recent publications include: The Handbook of Indigenous Sociology (Oxford 2022, lead editor with T. Kukutai, R. Henry and A. Gonzales) and Indigenous Data Sovereignty and Policy (Routledge 2020, lead editor with T. Kukutai, S. Russo-Carroll and D. Rodriguez Lonebear).
Distinguished Professor Walter is also a prominent advocate of Indigenous rights. She is a founding member of the Australian Indigenous Data Sovereignty Collective (Maiam nayri Wingara), an executive member of the Global Indigenous Data Alliance (GIDA), a Palawa delegate to the Uluru Convention, a Member, Senior Advisory Group, Co-Design Process, Indigenous Voice, a Secretary of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA), a Fulbright Scholar, and is a current member of the Australian Research Council Advisory Committee.
Professor the Honourable Kevin Bell AM KC
Professor the Honourable Kevin Bell AM KC 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 a former Director of the Castan Centre for Human Rights Law.