The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) provides fair, efficient and affordable justice for the Victorian community. They do this by making decisions about a wide range of cases or by helping people to resolve disputes. Gman spoke to Kym Williams born into Iningai Country in Central Queensland raised on Wurundjeri Country and Tracey Winmar is a Noongar woman raised also on Wurundjeri Country..both spoke about there roles at VCAT and the launch if there new website. Kym Williams States that Cultural safety for Aboriginal people is about providing a safe space where people can feel socially, emotionally, and physically connected to a space. Often it's spiritual connection to the environment that you're in.
Historically, we haven't had a good relationship with the justice system and we tend to avoid those places at all costs. One of the challenges at VCAT that we have is about making sure that when our mob come to VCAT, that they have a positive experience.
Tracey Winmar added. We've got a Koori support team at VCAT, and we help applicants that come in with their paperwork. We help them either via the phone, email, or if they come into the office.
In the Koori hearing rooms we've got art work on the walls, we've got the flag, we've got the possum skin cloaks, we've got the table in the room with the Koori artwork on there. We're just trying to make it a more inviting space for Aboriginal people to come in.
If you’re Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, you can ask for a Koori hearing room at VCAT.
A Koori hearing room is a place where you can feel comfortable in your surroundings. It has been smoked and has Aboriginal flags, artwork and possum skin cloaks. An acknowledgment of the traditional owners of the land can take place at the start of your hearing.