Yoorrook to commence hearings into health, education, housing and economic life

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

May 22, 2024

Victoria’s truth telling process, the Yoorrook Justice Commission, will begin its seventh round of public hearings on Monday.

The hearings will focus on systemic injustice experienced by First Peoples in Victoria in relation to health, education, housing and economic life.

Witnesses will include First Peoples, Victorian Government Ministers, senior bureaucrats and university representatives, including:

  • Deputy Premier and Minister for Education Ben Carroll MP
  • Treasurer Tim Pallas MP
  • Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence Vikki Ward MP
  • Minister for Mental Health Ingrid Stitt MP
  • Minister for Health Mary-Anne Thomas MP
  • Minister for Housing Harriet Shing MP
  • Aunty Jill Gallagher (CEO, Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation)
  • Representatives of the First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria

All hearings will take place at the Yoorrook hearing room at 54 Wellington St, Collingwood. Hearings are open for the public and media to attend and will be livestreamed via the Yoorrook website and Facebook page.

The hearing schedule will be available later this week on the Yoorrook website.

Yoorrook Deputy Chair Sue-Anne Hunter, who is leading the Commission’s inquiry into health, said:

“Ensuring a safe home, access to quality healthcare, and a solid education for our children are fundamental rights. However, for many First Peoples in Victoria, these essentials remain elusive. Victoria’s First Peoples face significant disparities across various social indicators.

“Yoorrook’s inquiry aims to uncover why health, education and housing systems perpetuate this disadvantage. We are also examining the barriers that First Peoples encounter when seeking support and solutions to rectify this injustice.

“The insights gathered during these hearings will play a crucial role in shaping Yoorrook’s final recommendations.”

Yoorrook Commissioner Maggie Walter, who is leading the Commission’s inquiry into education, said:

“First Peoples are the first scientists, the first astrologists and the first teachers. Our knowledge systems have been passed down over generations, standing the test of time.

“But today, the Victorian education system largely ignores our expertise, and instead promotes a curriculum that leaves our children feeling unsafe, unsupported and more likely to leave school without a full education.

“These hearings will help commissioners make recommendations that will build an education system that is safe and welcoming for First Peoples. If we want to close the gap, we need to listen to and learn from the perspectives of First Peoples and create an education system where everyone can thrive.”



  • Yoorrook will release its final report before the Commission finishes on 30 June 2025.
  • First Peoples are more than twice as likely to be diagnosed with cancer, more than three times as likely to experience racism in the health system and are more than four times more likely to receive mental health services.
  • At least 40 percent of Aboriginal children are assessed as vulnerable on Australian Early Development Census measures.
  • In 2023 First Peoples in Victoria were 14 times more likely than non-First Peoples to seek homelessness services. There are currently more than 5,800 First Peoples on the waiting list for social housing.

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