Sue-Anne Hunter is a proud Wurundjeri and Ngurai Illum Wurrung woman and the Deputy Chair and Commissioner of the Yoorrook Justice Commission.
In the opening keynote of Healing Our Spirit Worldwide (HOSW) the Ninth Gathering, Hunter shared the story of Indigenous Peoples of Victoria, Australia, including the ongoing impacts of colonialism, which have resulted in intergenerational trauma and health inequities.
“Colonial traumas are not just a thing of the past, they are living legacies," notes Hunter.
Hunter and the Yoorrick Justice Commission are working to address the historic and ongoing systemic injustices caused by colonialism as well as the human and cultural violations to the First Peoples of Victoria.
“Yoorrook [Justice Commission] is a historic opportunity for First People to tell their whole story and for other Victorians to listen so that we can turn a new page together," says Hunter. “It creates a path that leads to truth, understanding and transformation, and empowers Aboriginal people to heal from the continuing effects of colonization."
As part of its mandate to investigate, document and take action, the Yoorrook Justice Commission submitted its first report last week, which includes 46 recommendations to government for change. The report is based on community witnesses, testimonials, roundtable discussions and government documents.
It recommends the transfer of decision-making power, authority, control and resources to First Peoples. Key recommendations from the report include:
As Hunter notes, “We all do better when we understand the past and present, but telling the truth is not enough. This report is a catalyst for self-determination and system reform to address the historic and ongoing system injustices of First Peoples in Victoria."