Pax Christi Australia – in collaboration with Religions for Peace Australia, jointly presented “Truth Telling in Australia” which was given by Sherry Balcombe, of Aboriginal Catholic Ministry. This session was recorded at Kildara Centre, Stanhope St, Malvern on Sunday 27 June 2021.
Four out of five survey respondents supported a formal truth-telling process to acknowledge past injustices against First Nations people.
An overwhelming majority of Australians support a formal ‘truth telling’ process to acknowledge past injustices against Indigenous people, the latest survey on community attitudes towards reconciliation shows.
Ninety-five per cent of the community support the right of First Nations people to have a say on matters affecting them. There was similar support (90%) for the statement that the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians is important. That figure has increased marginally every survey since 2010.
The Victorian Government’s Yoo-rrook Justice Commission is the first indigenous truth telling inquiry into historical and ongoing injustices against Aboriginal Victorians since colonisation. Sherry Balcombe will speak on its significance to First Nations people, and non-indigenous Australians.
Sherry has been with the Aboriginal Catholic Ministry Victoria since 2003, and its Coordinator since 2015. She previously worked at the Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency. An Olkola/Djabaguy woman from far North Queensland born on Wurundjeri land (Melbourne), she is mother of four and grandmother to three boys. She grew up Bunurong Land, where she still resides.
What is the justice commission?
It will be the first “truth-telling” process of its type in Australia, charged with investigating both historical and ongoing injustices committed against Aboriginal Victorians across all areas of social, political, cultural and economic life, starting with colonisation. It is specific to the state of Victoria. The process is partly modelled on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission set up by Nelson Mandela in post-apartheid South Africa, as well as those that have been held in New Zealand and Canada.
What does Yoo-rrook mean?
In the Wemba Wemba language Yoo-rrook means “truth”. The Wemba Wemba, also known as the Wamba Wamba, are a people from north-west Victoria and the NSW Riverina.