The Yoorrook Justice Commission is inviting all Victorians to take part in the truth telling process by making a submission that provides information about past or ongoing injustice experienced by First Peoples. Submissions had previously been open to First Peoples only.
Submissions could include stories of interactions with First Peoples when Victoria was first settled. This could include relationships between Aboriginal people and settlers, knowledge of early stories and beliefs, or information about the impact of colonisation on the Traditional Owners in the area.
Submissions could also comprise documents from a workplace, farm, church or family archive about local histories. It could include information taught in school about First Peoples’ history, culture and experiences, or knowledge and evidence of massacre sites. Submissions can be made by individuals, families or groups.
Yoorrook is Victoria’s truth telling inquiry and the first of its kind in Australia. The Royal Commission is scheduled to run until June 2025, and will make recommendations to end the injustice faced by First Peoples and create a better future for all Victorians.
Chair of the Yoorrook Justice Commission, Professor Eleanor Bourke said:
“Yoorrook has heard powerful evidence from First Peoples about the systemic racism, injustice and harm caused by the State against them and their families. Often this involved reliving traumatic experiences and came at a significant personal toll.
“Now it is time for all Victorians to play their part in the truth telling process; truth telling must be a two-way street.
“If you have a story to share or documents that could help shed light on early interactions between First Peoples and settlers, or about the impacts of colonisation on Aboriginal people, please make a submission.
“You might have information that helps show the strength of First Peoples or the importance of culture, knowledge and tradition. If you choose, your story can be part of Yoorrook’s rich public archive, which is based on the principles of Truth, Understanding and Transformation. The Archive will live on for future generations to explore.
“Every story, record and historical document helps build the body of evidence needed to create transformational change for First Peoples.
“Coming together to acknowledge past injustice and resolve our differences is an important part of the healing process. Only then can we begin to create a better future for all Victorians.”
Submissions can be made via the Yoorrook Justice Commission website in any format including written, audio or video recorded, as well as photographs and historical documents. More information is available on the website.
Media enquiries: Evan Schuurman, 0408 847 385, [email protected].
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