Australia’s first and only commission dedicated to revealing the truth about injustices committed against Aboriginal people has moved closer to starting its work after the appointment of Josh Smith as its chief executive officer.
Josh, is a Dunghutti man who has extensive experience in law, justice and social policy, and will be responsible for the strategic operation of Victoria’s Yoo-rrook Justice Commission.
The Yoo-rrook commission explores both historical and ongoing injustices committed against the Victorian Aboriginal community since colonisation.
Jason, works alongside newly appointed commission chair, Professor Eleanor Bourke, and commissioners Dr Wayne Atkinson, Professor Kevin Bell, Sue-Anne Hunter and Professor Maggie Walter. A commission spokesman said Jason Smith was a highly regarded leader who brought with him a wide network among Victorian Aboriginal communities.
“Mr Smith will assist the commissioners in helping them to achieve the commission’s objectives, including those related to truth-telling, educating the wider public and making recommendations for structural reform,” the spokesman said. Areas of historical and ongoing injustice to be investigated by the wide-ranging commission are likely to include cultural violations and massacres, policing and criminal justice, child protection, family and welfare matters, health and healthcare and other subjects relating to economic, social and political life.
The appointment marks a significant step for the Yoo-rrook Justice Commission, and will allow it to accelerate its establishment process to formally commence work on actioning its terms of reference Mr Smith will assist the Commissioners in helping them to achieve the Commissions objectives, including those related to truth-telling, educating the wider public and making recommendations for structural reform Jason commenced his role as CEO on 21 June, 2021.