The chair of Yoo-rrook Justice Commission has called on Victorians to join with First Nations peoples to engage in the process of truth-telling, justice and healing. Source: Melbourne Catholic.
Professor Eleanor Bourke delivered the annual Knox Public Lecture in Melbourne last month, hosted by Catholic Theological College in Melbourne. Professor Bourke has held numerous executive positions in community, state, and federal government agencies. She was co-chair of Reconciliation Victoria for three years and a board member for the Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Council for 12 years.
“Today’s oration is a chance for us to ask ourselves what is the Victorian story and what do we want the future to be? To move forward, you need to know that footprints imprinted on this land are of ancient things, not just dinosaurs, but of our ancient ancestors. We are now at a moment where that wisdom can assist survival in parts of this land,” Professor Bourke said.
“The wellbeing of First Peoples is fundamentally underpinned by our lived connection with culture, country and pride in our heritage, the oldest living continuous country on earth”’ she said.
“There are moments in history where the confluence of past and present events opens to a better future. The past is catching up and our people are lighting the way.
“I believe that moment has arrived for Australia, and we, the Yoo-rrook Justice Commission are seizing a moment here in Victoria.”
The commission was jointly announced by the Victorian Government and the First People’s Assembly of Victoria, an independent and democratically elected body to represent Traditional Owners and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Victoria, in May.
Professor Bourke is one of five commissioners who will lead this work over the coming years. An interim report is due by June 20, 2022, with the final report, including recommendations, due on June 30, 2024.