The Commissioners of the Yoo-rrook Justice Commission (Yoo-rrook) have raised the importance truth-telling in the face of revelations about Tom Wills.
Tom Wills is one of the founders of Australian Football who allegedly participated in the murder of Aboriginal people.
Yoo-rrook’s Chair and Wergaia/Wamba Wamba Elder, Professor Eleanor Bourke said the reports on Wills validates their mandate to creating Victoria’s first formal truth-telling process.
“The story of Tom Wills illustrates exactly why Yoo-rrook was established and further validates Yoo-rrook’s mandate for a formal truth-telling process,” Professor Bourke said.
“Yoo-rrook is an opportunity for First Peoples to tell the truth about colonisation … The work of Yoo-rrook will also provide the opportunity to tell powerful stories of pride, survival and resilience.
“It will lead to critical changes for healing, systems reform and legal and educational reform.”
Yoo-rrook said their objectives are to establish an official record of the impact of colonisation on Traditional Owners and First Peoples in Victoria.
They are aiming to develop a shared understanding among all Victorians of the impact of
Yoo-rrook said that they will propose changes to laws, institutions, and systems which can be taken up through Treaty negotiations and the likes to build relationships between all Victorians.
“Listening to the voices of First Peoples’, hearing their experiences and how their
cultures have survived despite the trauma, will give the broader Victorian community
an understanding of the resilience and strength of First Peoples’ and their cultures,” said Professor Bourke.
Yoo-rrook are set to call for submissions from First Peoples and non-state entities over the coming months to help establish a formal record of history.
By Teisha Cloos