The Yoorrook Justice Commission is the first formal truth-telling process into historical and ongoing injustices experienced by First Peoples in Victoria.
What will Yoorrook do?
Yoorrook will look into both past and ongoing injustices experienced by Traditional Owners and First Peoples in Victoria in all areas of life since colonisation.
- Establish an official record of the impact of colonisation on Traditional Owners and First Peoples in Victoria.
- Develop a shared understanding among all Victorians of the impact of colonisation, as well as the diversity, strength and resilience of First Peoples' cultures.
- Make recommendations for healing, system reform and practical changes to laws, policy and education, as well as to matters to be included in future treaties.
See Yoorrook’s Letters Patent that set out its mandate in detail.
How will Yoorrook run its inquiry?
- Hear stories and gather information from First Peoples in Victoria on their experience of past and ongoing injustices and how their cultures and knowledge has survived.
- Support First Peoples to choose how they wish to share their experiences and to avoid experiencing further trauma.
- Closely examine information that is already available and seek new information in areas where there are gaps in knowledge.
- Seek information and data from the Victorian Government and other institutions to give evidence about current and past practices and policies.
- Make recommendations for systems change and practical changes to laws, policy and practices.
First Peoples' Assembly of Victoria calls for a truth and justice process
Building on decades of First Peoples’ activism, the First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria calls on the Victorian Government to work towards establishing a truth and justice process.
The Victorian Government answers the call
The Victorian Government announces its commitment to a truth and justice process, designed to run in parallel to the Victorian Treaty process.
Design of the form and mandate of the truth and justice process
The Assembly and Victorian Government work together to design the form and mandate of the truth and justice process based on consultation with Aboriginal communities across Victoria.
Announcement of Yoorrook Justice Commission and call for Commissioners
The Yoorrook Justice Commission is formally announced, and an Expression of Interest process begins for Commissioners. Yoorrook’s historic mandate is to inquire into both historical and ongoing injustices against First Peoples in Victoria since colonisation. It will establish an official record of the impact of colonisation on First Peoples in Victoria, as well as make recommendations for practical actions and reform needed in Victoria to acknowledge historical injustices and address ongoing injustices.
Commissioner candidates shortlisted
The Expression of Interest process for Commissioners closes with shortlisted candidates publicly announced, followed by a public comment period.
Commissioners appointed and Yoorrook established
Yoorrook’s five Commissioners are announced and Yoorrook is legally established with the powers of a Royal Commission.
Commissioners hold 29 Yarning Circles with 200 Elders across the state to listen to Elders’ truths and prioities for Yoorrook.
Public Hearings with Elders
Public hearings are held to listen to Elders’ truth. The First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria and Victorian Government appear to give their initial evidence to the Commission.
Yoorrook Justice Commission delivers its interim report.
Focus on Criminal Justice and Child Protection begins
Yoorrook focuses its inquiry on injustice against First Peoples in the criminal justice and child protection systems, and continues to examine priorities for Treaty.
Hearings with Aboriginal leaders, experts and service providers
Public hearings are held with Aborigianal leaders, experts and service providers giving evidence about injustice within Victoria’s criminal justice and child protection systems.
Hearings with Aboriginal Community members
A second round of public hearings focused on Victoria’s criminal justice and child protection systems is held. The Commission hears evidence from Community members who have eperienced injustice within the systems.
Two directions hearings are held to examine the Victorian Government’s non-compliance with the Commission’s orders to produce evidence. A new timetable and extension to Yoorrook’s mandate is agreed.
Hearings with Government and public service witnesses
A third round of public hearings focused on Victoria’s criminal justice and child protection systems is held. The Commission hears evidence from Government Ministers and public servants responsible for administering the systems.
Critical Issues Report
Yoorrook will deliver its Critical Issues report into injustices against First Peoples in the criminal justice and child protection systems.
Yoorrook is due to deliver its next report.
Yoorrook is due to conclude its historic inquiry.