Ms Sue-Anne Hunter is a Wurundjeri and Ngurai illum Wurrung woman recognised as a leader in trauma and healing practices and is a Commissioner for the Yoo-rrook Justice Commission. Sue-Anne Hunter was the National Sector Development Manager for SNAICC – National Voice for our Children. As Deputy Chair of SNAICC between 2013 and 2016, Ms Hunter spoke on the Royal Commission into Institutional Sexual Abuse of Children in Care and sat on the working group for the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children. Sue-Anne is my guest today around 8.30am so tune in to hear from this dynamic woman who speaks out for community.
Sue-Anne is a trained social worker and has worked in the Aboriginal children and family welfare field for over 18 years. She previously had oversight of all the cultural clinical healing services at the Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency. Ms Hunter also was Co-Chair of the ‘Family matters’ campaign to end the over-representation of Aboriginal children in out-of-home care.
Yoo-rrook means ‘truth’ in the Wemba Wemba/Wamba Wamba language, which is spoken in the north-west region of Victoria. Sue-Anne Hunter is one of five commissioners on the Yoo-rrook Justice Commission: the first truth-telling body established in Australia. Truth-telling is a process of openly sharing historical truths after periods of conflict. Truth-telling acknowledges human rights violations by promoting the voices of communities who have been victims of these violations. First Peoples in this country have been calling for a truth-telling process for generations. Sue-Anne's appointment comes with a strong sense of legacy, as she's a descendant of Annie Borate, sister of William Barak who was a powerful voice at the Coranderrk Inquiry in 1881. This was the first Commission in Victoria to address Indigenous calls for self-determination.
“The Yoo-rrook Justice Commission is an important step towards self-determination for our children and families in learning from the past,” said SNAICC CEO Catherine Liddle.
Sue-Anne brings an understanding of the impact of generations of child removal, and the historical significance of embarking on this journey of truth-telling. “The Bringing Them Home report and the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody are a reminder of the systemic reform that is needed to affect real change for our children’s futures, and this Commission is a catalyst for that change.”
The Commission’s key functions are to: Establish an official record of the impact of colonisation on First Peoples in Victoria using First Peoples’ stories. This will be done by inquiring into and reporting on historical systemic injustices perpetrated against First Peoples since colonisation (for example massacres, wars and genocide) as well as ongoing systemic injustices (for example policing, child protection and welfare matters, health, invasion of privacy and exclusion from economic, social and political life), Make detailed recommendations about practical actions and reforms needed in Victoria.
The Commission will determine the causes and consequences of systemic injustices and who is responsible. The Commission is expected to make detailed recommendations for changes to laws, policy and education and the types of matters to be included in future Treaties. Its first report is expected by June 2022, with a final report by June 2024.
DETAILS: • Yoo-rrook on Country will introduce the Commissioners to Community and build awareness of the historic work Yoo-rrook will conduct - investigating historical and ongoing injustices experienced by First Peoples since colonisation.
• Commissioners will have the chance to speak with Traditional Owners and First Peoples directly to strengthen ties and raise awareness of Yoo-rrook’s work
• Yoo-rrook on Country will take place across regional and metropolitan locations split into five regions:
o Northeast Yorta Yorta Country (Shepparton, Echuca and Wodonga) Taungurung Country (Seymour) o Northwest Wemba Wemba/Wamba Wamba Country (Swan Hill) Latji Latji and Ngintait Country (Mildura) Dja Dja Wurrung Country (Bendigo) Wotjobaluk Country (Horsham) o Southwest Wathaurong/Wadawurrung Country (Geelong) Gunditjmara Country (Lake Condah, Portland, Framlingham and Warrnambool) o Southeast GunaiKurnai Country (Lake Tyers and Morwell) o Metropolitan Boonwurrung/Wurundjeri-Woiwurrung Country (Melbourne) • Additional events and locations will be scheduled – to keep update visit
• This announcement falls on the same day as International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, which recognises and celebrates the success of Indigenous Peoples in self-governance, and recognises the struggle of living under other governments
• Chair Professor Eleanor Bourke - Wergaia and Wamba Wamba Elder • Commissioner Dr Wayne Atkinson – Yorta Yorta Elder • Commissioner Sue-Anne Hunter - Wurundjeri and Ngurai illum Wurrung woman • Commissioner Distinguished Professor Maggie Walter - Palawa woman • Commissioner Professor the Honourable Kevin Bell AM QC