Facing uncomfortable truths is a chance for repair

Victorian Premier Jacinta Allan’s recent testimony at the Yoorrook Justice Commission is a stark reminder of the need to reckon with our history and its ongoing impact. The Premier’s admission of ignorance of brutal massacres near her home reflects a broader failure to grapple with the past. These types of events are systemically excluded from our collective national memory, with a resulting lack of understanding of how these realities influence lives today.

Yet, this perspective misses the point of why we revisit this history. The goal isn’t to lay blame, but to shed light. To bring attention to the many dark and traumatic things that have happened here. And to show how the legacies of these things, influenced by certain attitudes and beliefs, are still at play: in the Australian people, in politics, and most importantly, in the lives of the people who have had to endure them.

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