Yoorrook Justice Commission to hear from Community on Gunditjmara Country

For media enquiries, please contact Evan Schuurman 0408 847 385 or [email protected]

February 16, 2023

The Yoorrook Justice Commission will meet with members of the Winda-Mara Aboriginal Corporation and the Dhauwurd Wurrung Elderly & Community Health Service today.

Commissioners will hold roundtable discussions to hear the stories, concerns and recommendations of Community.

The discussions will cover a range of issues, including Yoorrook’s current focus on the injustices experienced by First Peoples within Victoria’s child protection and criminal justice systems.

The meetings will be held at the Ngoot-Yoong Cultural Healing Centre in Portland.

On Wednesday Commissioners visited the Lake Condah mission, established in 1867, as part of its evidence gathering trip to Gunditjmara Country.

The evidence collected by Yoorrook will help it to make strong recommendations to the Victorian Government to right the wrongs of the past and create a better future for all Victorians.

Chair of the Commission and Wergaia and Wamba Wamba Elder, Prof Eleanor Bourke AM, said:

“Yoorrook commissioners are privileged to be here on Gunditjmara Country to hear from First Peoples about the past and ongoing impacts of colonisation.

“We are extremely grateful to members of the Winda-Mara Aboriginal Corporation and the Dhauwurd Wurrung Elderly & Community Health Service for their hospitality and for sharing their stories with Yoorrook.

“These meetings provide invaluable insight into the strength of culture and Community in this part of Victoria, as well as the services being provided to help First Peoples.

“The evidence we gather on-Country is crucial to Yoorrook as it looks to make strong recommendations to fix the systemic injustices facing First Peoples within Victoria’s child protection and criminal justice systems.”

Yoorrook will hold two further rounds of public hearings in late February and March 2023 as part of this avenue of inquiry. It will produce a critical issues report in mid 2023 to detail its findings and make recommendations to the Victorian Government for reform.

All Victorian First Peoples – or First Peoples who experienced a systemic injustice within Victoria – can continue to tell their truth about any ongoing or historic injustice by making a submission through Yoorrook’s online submission portal.

First Peoples are encouraged to make submissions in any form they wish. Free, confidential, and safe social and emotional wellbeing support and legal advice is available for all First Peoples wishing to tell their truth to Yoorrook.

ENDS

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