Keeping You Safe & Strong

Yoorrook is set up to hear the truth about injustices experienced by First Peoples since colonisation.

Speaking to Yoorrook about your experiences may be daunting or distressing. While some people have strong support networks already, Yoorrook recognises this isn’t the case for everyone. Free, confidential and culturally safe support is available to First Peoples who want to tell their truth.

Self-determination is at the heart of Yoorrook’s work. This means that it is your choice about what connections and supports you need in place to tell your truth in a safe way.

We encourage all First Peoples to participate in Yoorrook’s work and Yoorrook offers you a safe space where your truth, culture and wellbeing is prioritised and respected.

The services described below are available whether you want to share your experience over the phone, online, at a community forum, or in a wurrek tyerrang (public hearing).

Yoorrook’s supports reflect a holistic view of First Peoples’ wellbeing, encompassing connection to family, kin, Country, culture, community and ancestors.

Yoorrook’s team is available for a First Yarn to learn more about your circumstances and can explain what supports are available to you. Free, confidential and culturally safe debriefing and counselling is also available. For more information see Information sheet 6: Social and Emotional Wellbeing Supports.

It is important to get legal advice if you want to say something to the Yoorrook Justice Commission that could impact you or your legal rights. For example, if you want to share details of something you agreed to keep private, or if there is a current court case that involves things you’re not allowed to talk about publicly.

Talking to a lawyer at Lotjpa Independent Legal Service is free and confidential. The service is independent from the Commission. The Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service (VALS) and Victoria Legal Aid (VLA) run this service. Find out more about legal issues in the Lotjpa Independent Legal Service – Legal Help Fact Sheet

Contact Lotjpa Independent Legal Service:

Lotjpa phone line (operated by VLA): (03) 8373 7918 or email: lotjpa@vla.vic.gov.au

Lotjpa phone line (operated by VALS): (03) 9418 5999 or email: lotjpa@vals.org.au

If Yoorrook invites you to give pil’kneango mirnk (evidence) as a witness at a wurrek tyerrang, you are entitled to payments for things like loss of income, childcare and meals, travel and accommodation.

Yoorrook can arrange an interpreter if you want to share your story in your own language, including Indigenous languages and Auslan.

If you are deaf, hearing or speech impaired contact us through the National Relay Service (NRS) and ask to call 1800 966 775. If you have any issues connecting through the NRS, please call the NRS Helpdesk on 1800 555 660 (Monday to Friday 8am-6pm).

For any other help, or for more information, call us on 1800 YOO RRK (1800 966 775 free call) Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.