Yoorrook Justice Commission to meet First Peoples of the Wimmera

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

February 2, 2023

The Yoorrook Justice Commission will meet with the members of the Barengi Gadjin Land Council and the Wotjobaluk peoples in Horsham today.

Commissioners will hold roundtable discussions with Barengi Gadjin to hear their concerns and recommendations, in line with Yoorrook’s terms of reference.

Commissioners will also visit several significant sites in the area, including the Ebenezer Mission, Dimboola Ranch and Billabong and Pink Lake.

The visit will help Yoorrook – the first truth telling process in Australia – to collect the evidence needed to make strong recommendations to the Victorian Government to right the wrongs of the past create a better future for all Victorians.

Barengi Gadjin Land Council was formed in 2005 to represent the Wotjobaluk, Jaadwa, Jadawadjali, Wergaia and Jupagulk peoples.

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

“I am pleased the Commission has the opportunity to meet these five groups on their traditional lands, and to hear first-hand about the issues confronting them in their region.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to learn through these discussions and by visiting sites of significance for the Wotjobaluk nation.

“The visit will help Commissioners gain greater insight into the ongoing impacts of colonisation, and a better understanding of the work of Barengi Gadjin going back to when it was created in 2005.

“There is a lot of truth to be told about First Peoples experiences of injustice in the Wimmera region, which felt the full impact of colonisation.”

Yoorrook will hold two further rounds of public hearings in late February and March 2023 as part of its investigation into the systemic injustices in the child protection and criminal justice systems.

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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