The Yoo-rrook Justice Commission was established after negotiations between the First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria and the Government of Victoria, in response to a clear call to action by the Assembly in June 2020. The word ‘Yoo-rrook’ comes from the Wemba Wemba word meaning ‘truth’.
The Letters Patent establishing the Commission require the Commission to have 'due regard to the views and insight provided by the First Peoples' Assembly of Victoria, in a report or reports from community consultation undertaken by it'. This report was prepared for this stated purpose.
The report compiles a wide range of feedback received from First Peoples around Victoria and its surrounds from September 2020 to May 2021. Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, broad consultations took place online, in person, and through social media. The Assembly sought input from Aboriginal communities, organisations and individuals across the state, including elders and traditional owners. As the elected representatives of the Aboriginal community in Victoria, the members of the Assembly also provided their views, as well as collecting input from international experts in human rights law and transitional justice.
Overall, there is widespread support among First Peoples in Victoria for a truth and justice process, with many noting that it is long overdue and is an essential part of the Treaty process. The establishment of the Yoo-rrook Justice Commission is the result of decades of activism across the country, including the calls made in the Uluru Statement from the Heart.