THE truth-telling process of the Yoo-rrook on Country begun virtually in Bendigo this week.
It was part of a number of community meetings that will be held in central Victoria as part of the Yoo-rrook Justice Commission.
Yorta Yorta and Dja Dja Wurrung elder Dr Wayne Atkinson is one of the five commissioners and said the meetings were a critical part of the commission.
He said the meetings also allowed the commissioners speak with communities and build awareness of the work Yoo-rrook will conduct in investigating historical and ongoing injustices faced by First Peoples since colonisation.
"We are aware that reckoning with the past is not a straight forward task but it does have the potential to be a healing and unifying process," Dr Atkinson said.
"We want this to be open, transparent and welcoming to voices for First Peoples of the country and also non-indigenous community members."
Dr Atkinson said like a number of meetings will be held online due to the coronavirus restrictions.
He said one of those meetings occurred at the start of the week, with commissioners meeting with Dja Dja Wurrung representatives.
"COVID-19 won't allow us to gather together to meet person to person so the alternative to that we are doing lots of consultations online," he said.
"We are doing that through Zoom and those mediums that will allow us to reach out and meet with community members and organisations."
The First Peoples' Assembly of Victoria, the first democratically-elected body of Indigenous people in the state's history, played a critical role in setting up the Yoo-rrook Justice Commission.
The commission, which has the powers of a Royal Commission, will work towards a range of objectives in the next three years.
They include establishing an official public record of experiences of Aboriginal Victorians since colonisation, and determining the causes and consequences of systemic injustices suffered by Aboriginal Victorians.
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