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New Commissioner of the Yoorrook Justice Commission

[supplied by Evan Schuurman]


Image: supplied

Kerrupmara Gunditjmara Traditional Owner Travis Lovett (pictured) has been appointed as a Commissioner of Victoria’s truth telling process, the Yoorrook Justice Commission.


Commissioner Lovett has extensive experience working to improve the rights and lives of Aboriginal people, including across several Victorian Government departments, in youth services, justice and the not-for-profit sector.


Commissioner Lovett maintains a strong connection with his Community and culture, and holds a deep knowledge of the history of First Peoples in Victoria.


Commissioner Lovett has held senior leadership roles in the Victorian Public Service, including as Executive Director and Acting Deputy Secretary, First Peoples State Relations, at the Department of Premier and Cabinet. He played a key role in supporting Victoria to progress and implement Treaty and Truth telling.


Commissioner Lovett also worked extensively supporting the rights of Traditional Owners across Victoria and in the protection of cultural heritage.


Commissioner Lovett was instrumental in the development and implementation of many government strategies and long-term governance and partnership arrangements between Community and the Victorian Government that have, among other things, led to greater alignment of self-determination in the creation of new strategies, policies and initiatives.


He also played a key role in the expansion and reform of the Magistrates’ and Children’s Koori Courts across Victoria.


Commissioner Lovett has previously held board member positions within community organisations and worked at the Victorian Aboriginal Education Association Incorporated (VAEAI), where he advocated for better rights for Aboriginal young people.


Chair of the Commission, Aunty Eleanor Bourke formally announced the appointment of Commissioner Lovett.


“He brings significant professional experience, depth of cultural knowledge and connection to community.


“As a Victorian Traditional Owner with extensive experience, Commissioner Lovett’s insights will be invaluable to Yoorrook as the Commission builds its recommendations to right the wrongs of the past.


“I welcome Commissioner Lovett to Yoorrook and look forward to his contribution.”


Commissioner Lovett said he was humbled to serve on the nation's first truth-telling commision.


“We will work to put the true history of Victoria on the public record forever.


“Yoorrook is our people's opportunity to tell Victoria our story, the full story, the truthful story.


“Yoorrook offers the entire Victorian community the historic chance to listen, learn and through recommendations for change, move forward together into a better future. I am deeply honoured to be a part of this Commission.”


Commissioner Lovett was formally appointed by the Governor of Victoria on the recommendation of an independent First Peoples’ led selection panel, which included members of the First Peoples Assembly of Victoria. He will formally commence in the role on March 6, 2023.


Commissioner Lovett will join fellow Yoorrook commissioners, Professor Eleanor Bourke AM (Chair and Wergaia/Wamba Wamba Elder), Sue-Anne Hunter (Deputy Chair and proud Wurundjeri and Ngurai Illum Wurrung woman), Distinguished Professor Maggie Walter (proud Palawa woman) and former Supreme Court Judge, the Honourable Kevin Bell AM KC.


Yoorrook will hold two rounds of public hearings between February 27 and March 31 as part of its inquiry into the systemic injustices experienced by First Peoples in Victoria’s criminal justice and child protection systems.


The Commission will produce a critical issues report in mid-2023 to detail its findings and make recommendations to the Victorian Government for reform.


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