The Yoorrook Justice Commission will take its next historic step towards achieving truth and justice in Victoria by inviting Elders to make nuther-mooyoop (submissions) from 26 April 2022.
Nuther-mooyoop provide an opportunity for Elders to share their truth about the impacts of colonisation on First Peoples in Victoria with Yoorrook. Nuther-mooyoop will also demonstrate the resilience of Traditional Owners including the survival of cultures, knowledge, histories and traditions.
First Peoples’ nuther-mooyoop will be protected through Yoorrook’s unique Indigenous data sovereignty protocols. These protocols protect First Peoples’ data ownership and ensure that participants decide how their information will be accessed and used.
Professor Eleanor Bourke, Chair of the Yoorrook Justice Commission, spoke positively about this next historic milestone in Australia’s first and only truth and justice process.
“The opening of nuther-mooyoop is an important step in truth telling. Through this process we expect to receive a large number of stories, experiences and histories that have never been told before,” Chair Bourke said. “We also want to assure our Elders, and anyone who makes a nuther-mooyoop over the course of our inquiry, that their stories will be protected and that truth telling will be done in a culturally safe way.”
“Nuther-mooyoop and our upcoming wurrek tyerrang (public hearings), are opportunities for First Peoples to be heard. Ultimately Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Victorians will start to build a shared understanding of our history through this process.” “It is essential we complete this work in a way that is reflective of the needs of Community. Yoorrook is grounded in and will be guided by the cultural authority of our Elders, who have long advocated for truth-telling. We are therefore starting our truth telling by inviting them to make nuther-mooyoop first.”
The Yoorrook Justice Commission will open opportunities for all First Peoples and other Victorians to make nuther-mooyoop later this year.
Nuther-mooyoop, is the Boonwurrung word for ‘truth’ and has been adopted by Yoorrook as the term for ‘submission’ based on advice from The Victorian Aboriginal Corporation for Languages in collaboration with the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation and VACL’s Advisory Language groups.
Unusual for a Royal Commission, Nuther-mooyoop made to Yoorrook can take any form, such as writing, an audio or video recording, or through a truth-telling object such as an artwork, cultural artefact, or photo. “All ways of telling truth are of equal importance. All contribute to Yoorrook’s work. A nuther-mooyoop can include anything about past or current experiences of systemic injustice for an Elder, in addition to that of their family or Community,” said Chair Bourke.
Elders can make submissions via the Yoorrook website or with the assistance from the Yoorrook Community Engagement Team. Yoorrook’s Community Engagement Team are all First Peoples and can assist Elders with taking photos, videos or audio recordings of their nuther-mooyoop evidence.
Elders can make an appointment with Yoorrook’s Community Engagement Team by calling 1800 YOO RRK (1800 966 775) or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The opening of submissions also coincides with the commencement of wurrerk tyerrang (public hearings) on 26 April. To learn more about the Yoorrook Justice Commission, please visit the website at: https://yoorrookjusticecommission.org.au/