This year's Knox Public Lecture will be delivered online by Professor Eleanor Bourke, Chair of the Victorian Yoo-rrook Truth-Telling Commission. She will speak on the aims and work of the Yoo-rrook Justice Commission, the first formal truth-telling process into injustices experienced by First Peoples in Victoria. The word ‘Yoo-rrook’ comes from the Wemba Wemba word meaning ‘Truth’. Professor Bourke will share what truth telling means to her, unpack the Commission’s historic and broad mandate and, outline Yoo-rrook’s vision, values and priority areas.
Rev Dr Garry Deverell, Vice-Chancellor’s Scholar in Indigenous Studies of the University of Divinity, will respond and introduce the University’s School of Indigenous Studies. Sherry Balcombe, Manager of Aboriginal Catholic Ministry, Archdiocese of Melbourne, will also share a response.
The annual Knox Public Lecture is an important date in the calendar of Catholic Theological College. It commemorates the life and ministry of the founder of The College, the late James Robert Cardinal Knox, fifth Archbishop of Melbourne.
Professor Eleanor Bourke is a Wergaia/Wamba Wamba Elder and is Chair of the Yoo-rrook Justice Commission. Professor Bourke has held executive positions in community, state and federal government agencies. She was a Co-Chair of Reconciliation Victoria for three years, Board Member for the Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Council for twelve years and a Board Member of Native Title Services Victoria. In 2005, Professor Bourke participated in Victoria’s first positive native title determination for the Wotjobaluk, Wergaia, Jardwa, Jardwajarli and Japagulk peoples. Professor Bourke has had an extensive career in academia, and was inducted into the Victorian Honour Roll for Women in 2010 and the Victorian Aboriginal Honour Roll in 2019. Professor Bourke has previously provided strategic guidance supporting the establishment of the First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria.