Ovens & Murray Advertiser
New roadmap to hearing elders’ voices
THE Yoorrook Justice Commission has today released its Roadmap to Hearing Elders’ Voices which outlines Yoorrook’s journey ahead covering the formal launch, commencement of Elders’ truth-telling and first formal hearings.
The roadmap restates Yoorrook’s commitment to hearing from Elders first and foremost, ensuring the historic work of the commission is guided by, and grounded in, cultural authority.
Covering five phases, the roadmap commences in March 2022, moving through the initial three phases of community pre-engagement, Yoorrook’s formal launch and Elders’ Yarning Circles.
The findings from these initial phases will culminate in Yoorrook’s first Elders’ hearings starting from April 26.
All five phases of the roadmap will contribute to the development of Yoorrook’s interim report which is due on June 30.
Professor Eleanor Bourke, chair of the Yoorrook Justice Commission, spoke positively about this announcement.
“Elders voices are paramount,” she said.
“Their voice will underpin truth and justice for First Peoples.
“By prioritising Elders first, Yoorrook will ensure their stories and truths are captured and included as evidence in its final recommendations.
“The roadmap provides a clear outline of the commission’s operations moving forward and demonstrates its commitment to putting Elders at the centre of this process.”
The first phase of the roadmap is First Peoples community pre-engagement which will begin this month.
Yoorrook’s formal launch and ceremonial sitting will take place on March 24 and will mark the formal start of Yoorrook’s inquiry and will be grounded in cultural practices.
Following Yoorrook’s formal launch, phase three will see commissioners visit Elders across the state in regional communities.
These meetings, titled Elders’ Yarning Circles, will take place between March 28 and April 22.
The Elders’ Yarning Circles present a platform for Elders to provide insights into the process directly to the commissioners.
Commissioners will also use these visits as an opportunity to go on country and attend sites of cultural and historical significance.
The Elders’ truth-telling process will commence on April 26 and will run until
the delivery of Yoorrook’s interim report.
This will provide opportunities for Elders to speak and determine if they want their stories included in the official public record of the
impact of colonisation in Victoria.
Further details of the support available to people participating the process, will be announced at the commission’s launch on Thursday,
Yoorrook will invite knowledge-offerings and truth telling from all Traditional Owners and First Peoples in the second half of 2022, and from the broader
Victorian community after that.
To learn more about the Yoorrook Justice Commission, please visit the website at: https://yoorrookjusticecommission.org.au/.