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Recruiting for Yoo-rrook Justice Commission

Truth Telling in Victoria

Expression of Interest

The Expression of Interest for Yoo-rrook Justice Commissioners closed on Tuesday 6 April 2021.

We received overwhelming interest from 64 candidates and have shortlisted 20 candidates for the next phase of the assessment process. There was an exceptionally high-calibre of candidates and the Independent Assessment Panel wishes to thank those who took the time to submit applications and put themselves forward for this process, which we understand can be difficult. We hope all interested candidates remain engaged in the future work of the Yoo-rrook Justice Commission, once established.

The shortlisting decisions were made by the Independent Assessment Panel based on the publicly available individual and group key selection criteria, which will continue to guide the assessment of shortlisted candidates over the next phases of the process.

Public Comment Period Now Open

If you would like to make a comment regarding a candidate’s ability to meet key selection criteria please email [email protected]

The comments process is open until midday 23 April 2021.Pipeline will only provide comments which are relevant to the key selection criteria to the candidate and the Independent Assessment Panel.

Pipeline will de-identify any personal information (e.g. redact names and any other information that may identify a person) before providing relevant feedback to candidates. 

Pipeline may, if it considers necessary, consult with the Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPC) in assessing whether a comment is relevant to the key selection criteria. It will de-identify any personal information before sharing a comment with DPC for consultation.

Candidates will be given an opportunity to respond to any comments made about them via Pipeline Talent (either verbally or in writing). Pipeline Talent will provide Independent Assessment Panel members with candidates’ responses. The Independent Assessment Panel will factor relevant comments and candidates’ responses into their assessment process in advance of selecting a final list of candidates for recommendation to the Premier to consider.

Pipeline Talent will not accept a comment that does not include enough information to assess its relevance, is defamatory, is offensive or is trivial or vexatious. Cultural safety is paramount and lateral violence will not be permitted. Public comments will only be accepted and reviewed for relevance if provided by an identifiable individual, with a valid email and a mobile number. Your personal information is being collected for the purpose of validating your identity and to enable Pipeline Talent to contact you if further information is required.

Any personal information collected by Pipeline Talent will be handled in accordance with the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014. Information held by Pipeline Talent can be accessed by emailing [email protected].

At the conclusion of the recruitment process, Pipeline Talent may provide your personal information to DPC. This is to enable Pipeline Talent to comply with its contractual and legal obligations. By participating in the public feedback process, you consent to the collection and use of your personal information for the purposes set out above, including the potential use and disclosure of your personal information to DPC as part of this process. Any personal information received by DPC will be treated in accordance with the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014. Information held by DPC can be accessed by emailing [email protected].

 

 

Public Statements and Shortlisted Yoo-rrook Candidates

Dr Wayne Atkinson
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Kevin Bell
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Eleanor Bourke
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Rodney Carter
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Dr Melissa Castan
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Jidah Clark
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Philip Cooper
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Ian Gray
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Victoria Grieve-Williams
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Sue- Anne Hunter
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Diane Kerr
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Judy McDonald
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Hannah McGlade
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Anthony North
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David Parsons
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Lois Peeler
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Meena Singh
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Robert Thorpe
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Maggie Walter
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Christalla Yakinthou
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APPLICATIONS ARE NOW CLOSED

Victoria’s truth and justice process will occur in parallel to the treaty process.

 

Truth and Justice in Victoria

In pursuing treaty, the government is committed to acknowledging the truth of Victoria’s history and laying the foundations for new, positive relationships between the State, Aboriginal Victorians and non-Aboriginal Victorians.

Aboriginal Victorians have been clear and consistent in their call for truth-telling as an essential part of the treaty process. In particular, the First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria (Assembly) formally called for a truth and justice process through a resolution of its Chamber in June 2020. For more information about Truth-Telling click here

 

The Yoo-rrook Justice Commission

Following months of work in partnership with the Assembly, the Victorian Government announced it will establish the Yoo-rrook Justice Commission as the nation’s first truth-telling process.  Yoo-rrook is the Wemba Wemba / Wamba Wamba word for truth.

The Yoo-rrook Justice Commission is expected to begin in July 2021 following the issuing of letters patent under the Inquiries Act 2014, with its final report due three years after establishment.

It is anticipated that the Yoo-rrook Justice Commission will investigate both historical and ongoing injustices committed against Aboriginal Victorians since colonisation by the State and non-State entities, across all areas of social, political and economic life. In doing so, the Yoo-rrook Justice Commission will engage Victoria’s Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal community to achieve its aims of truth telling and truth listening.

The letters patent required to legally establish the Yoo-rrook Justice Commission will be finalised for the Governor’s consideration following a public expression of interest process for Yoo-rrook Justice Commissioners.

Establishment of the Yoo-rrook Justice Commission builds on our state’s nation-leading work on treaty, and the Victorian Government’s commitment in 2018 to address historic wrongs and ongoing injustices through the treaty process. Victoria is now the first and only jurisdiction to have actioned the treaty and truth elements of the Uluru Statement from the Heart.

 

Call for Commissioners

A public expression of interest process is now open to recommend five extraordinary candidates for appointment as Yoo-rrook Justice Commissioners.

As a group, the five Yoo-rrook Justice Commissioners should have knowledge and understanding of systemic disadvantage and its causes, expertise in Indigenous rights, community engagement, decolonisation, transitional justice, government system reform and/or historical inquiries.

All candidates must demonstrate impartiality, moral character and cultural integrity, and be empathetic and trauma-informed.

A majority of Commissioners must be Aboriginal and there should also be a gender balance across the five Commissioners.

Once established, the Yoo-rrook Justice Commissioners will likely be required to perform the following duties:

  • ensure all aspects of the Yoo-rrook Justice Commission’s work is conducted in a culturally sensitive and trauma-informed way and is guided by priorities identified by Victorian Aboriginal communities; 
  • hear testimonies and other evidence about First Peoples' experiences since colonisation, including First Peoples' ongoing strength and resilience;
  • inquire into and document laws, policies and practices that impacted on First Peoples' since colonisation and their ongoing effects;
  • engage with the Victorian public to educate and inspire them about the truth-telling process;
  • hold events and commemorations organised in consultation with First Peoples;  
  • prepare a report of their findings that will be an official record of the impact of colonisation on First Peoples in Victoria; and
  • make recommendations about what can be done to address past and continuing systemic injustices, prevent their recurrence, and improve relationships between First Peoples and the State of Victoria and through building a shared history for all Victorians.

A four-person Independent Assessment Panel will assess expressions of interest and make recommendations to the Premier for consideration. The Independent Assessment Panel comprises panellists nominated by the First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria, the Victorian Government and the International Center for Transitional Justice. Pipeline Talent is supporting the Independent Assessment Panel.

The deadline for applications is 12.00 midday on Tuesday 6 April 2021.

APPLICATIONS ARE NOW CLOSED

To access the expression of interest and position description, or frequently asked questions about the process, please visit pipelinetalent.com.au/yoo-rrook.

Download full details and application form here

Please note: The Premier of Victoria has committed to advise the Governor to establish the Yoo-rrook Justice Commission as a Royal Commission under the Inquiries Act 2014. The letters patent required to enable this legal establishment cannot be finalised for the Governor’s consideration until they include the names of the proposed Commissioners. Any candidates recommended to the Premier for his consideration will be given the opportunity to review the draft letters patent before they are finalised.

FAQs - EOI for Commissioner 

The Independent Assessment Panel is made up of four people (acting in their personal capacity), who have been nominated by different organisations. The Independent Assessment Panel includes:

  • Marcus Stewart, Co-Chair of the First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria (nominated by the First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria)
  • Muriel Bamblett, member of the First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria (nominated by the First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria)
  • Fernando Travesí, Executive Director of the International Center for Transitional Justice (nominated by the International Center for Transitional Justice)
  • Elly Patira, Executive Director, Social Policy, Department of Premier and Cabinet (nominated by the Victorian Government)

The Independent Assessment Panel will be responsible for making recommendations to the Premier for his consideration following the EOI and Assessment process. It will be supported by Pipeline Talent, who have been engaged by the Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPC), in partnership with the First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria. Pipeline Talent are a 100% Indigenous owned recruitment company who will be the primary contact throughout the EOI phase. They will provide support to the Independent Assessment Panel, such as compiling applications and arranging interviews for potential candidates. Pipeline Talent’s role is independent of DPC and the Assembly.

The Yoo-rrook Justice Commission will be established as a Royal Commission under the Inquiries Act 2014. Under the Inquiries Act 2014, only the Governor, with the advice of the Premier, may issue letters patent establishing a Royal Commission. The letters patent must specify (among other things) the Commissioners. It is therefore ultimately the Premier’s decision who he recommends to the Governor for appointment as commissioners. The Premier will consider the Independent Assessment Panel’s recommendations in making his decision.  

The Independent Assessment Panel will recommend to the Premier for his consideration a panel of Commissioners which has:

  • five members, the majority of Commissioners must be Aboriginal and at least two must be Victorian Traditional Owners. Of the Victorian Traditional Owners, at least one must be an Elder;
  • one Chairperson (who must be an Aboriginal person);
  • a gender balance;
  • combined experience in issues including Indigenous rights, decolonisation, transitional justice, systems reform, government inquiries, historical record keeping and community engagement;
  • at least one member that is legally qualified and trained.

As outlined in the EOI and Position Description document, the process to enable the Independent Assessment Panel to assess and make recommendations will involve the following:

  • EOI: The EOI phase will be open from Tuesday 9 March 2021 until midday Tuesday 6 April 2021. Potential candidates can self-nominate, or be nominated by an individual or organisation, with consent. Candidates must complete an EOI form including a public statement about why they wish to be considered for the role and set out their skills and experience. Candidates will be advised of receipt of their application within one business day of sending the application. Pipeline Talent, a 100% Indigenous owned recruitment company will assist the Independent Assessment Panel with the process. Pipeline Talent will directly handle enquiries from potential candidates, receive the EOIs, and compile applications.

  • Publication of shortlist and public statements: The Independent Assessment Panel will review nominations for candidates and develop a shortlist, which will be made public. This will likely occur by 12 April 2021. Public statements of shortlisted candidates and a photo provided will also be published. Candidates will be notified in advance of their name and statement being made public.

  • Interviews: Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed by the Independent Assessment Panel. Interviews will likely be scheduled between 12 April – 23 April 2021.

  • Opportunity for public feedback on shortlisted candidates: The public will have the opportunity to provide confidential feedback or comments in relation to any candidates shortlisted by the panel likely between 12 April – 23 April 2021. This process will be facilitated by Pipeline Talent. Only comments which are relevant to the key selection criteria will be passed onto the Independent Assessment Panel and relevant candidate, and this will occur after the relevant candidate’s interview. Candidates will be given an opportunity to respond to the Independent Assessment Panel on any comments made about them (either verbally or in writing). Panel members will factor candidates’ responses into their assessment process in advance of selecting a final list of candidates for recommendation to the Premier to consider.

  • Assessment Panel recommendations to the Premier: The Panel will make recommendations to the Premier in relation to suitable candidates by 4 May 2021. The Premier will then consider the recommendations and advise the Governor to issue the letters patent, including the names of the proposed Commissioners, in accordance with the Inquiries Act 2014.

The Independent Assessment Panel will make its recommendations to the Premier by 4 May 2021. The Premier will consider these recommendations. The Premier will then advise the Governor to issue letters patent with the names of the Commissioners, in accordance with the Inquiries Act 2014, formally establishing the Yoo-rrook Justice Commission.

Assessment panel members and Pipeline Talent will be required to keep applicants’ information confidential, except to the extent it is necessary to disclose it to the State of Victoria (through the Department of Premier and Cabinet) to allow appointment processes under the Inquiries Act 2014 to progress. Personal information collected by the State will be handled in accordance with the collection notice attached to the EOI, and the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014.  Further information about this is outlined in the privacy consent form in the EOI and Position Description.

As outlined in the Expression of Interest and Position Description document, shortlisted candidates will be asked to undergo standard probity checks (Australian Securities and Investment Commission Register of Persons Banned and Disqualified; Australian Financial Security Authority, National Personal Insolvency Index Check; and a National Police Record Check) and complete a Declaration of Private Interests and Conflict of Interest Form. Findings made through probity checks may not necessarily exclude candidates from being considered in the broader context of the candidate’s application.

The Declaration of Private Interests form will enable appropriate consideration of potential, perceived or actual conflict of interests related to any paid or voluntary work, if a candidate was selected to be a Commissioner. To ensure the independence of the Yoo-rrook Justice Commission, Commissioners may need to suspend or relinquish memberships or roles on other bodies, such as Boards, public offices or particular organisations. This will be considered and discussed with potential candidates about opportunities to declare and manage appropriately any potential, perceived or actual conflicts of interest in performing the role of Commissioner. 

Candidates can either self-nominate or supplement their application with a nomination from another individual or organisation. Candidates who self-nominate only will not be disadvantaged.

It is important to note the key selection criteria of impartiality requires Commissioners to be free from any external influences which may undermine their ability to be impartial and objective, or which could be perceived by others as undermining their ability to be impartial and objective. Therefore, nominations must be for persons in their individual capacity, not representing any organisation or group. If you are nominating someone else, the person must agree to be nominated and must complete the form themselves. Once they have completed the form, you must sign that you have nominated them.

The Independent Assessment Panel’s role is an advisory role - to make recommendations to the Premier for his consideration to advise the Governor. It is not a legal decision-making role to finally determine appointees to the roles of Yoo-rrook Justice Commissioners. The integrity, independence and fairness of this process are of utmost importance to all involved.

If you wish to make a complaint about the Independent Assessment Panel’s Expression of Interest Process, you should discuss or provide in writing your concern with Pipeline Talent by contacting [email protected].