9 March 2021

A good first step: “An Australian-first inquiry backed by royal commission powers will investigate the ongoing effects of colonisation on Victoria’s Indigenous community and chart a path to reconciliation. The Andrews government will on Tuesday launch a ‘truth-telling’ commission that will help guide the state’s treaty negotiations and potentially examine how reparations could be paid to Indigenous people for past injustices. It will host public hearings about social, economic and health disadvantage and the role colonisation and discriminatory government policy have played in fostering that disadvantage. The commission will listen to Indigenous stories from the time of colonisation through the stolen generations up to the present day detailing the treatment of Indigenous Australians. It will aim to educate the public and generate momentum for legislative and cultural change. … The scope of the commission was developed in partnership with the assembly, which called for the inquiry to have royal commission powers, be independent of government, make recommendations for reform and be culturally sensitive to First Peoples’ trauma and methods of story-telling.”