We believe truth is the foremost critical component of enabling meaningful social change and self-determination for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. We understand Australia is ‘stuck’ and cannot move forward without addressing the fundamental basis on which the nation was built. Therefore, Ebony’s first project is the Truth Justice and Healing (TJH) Project.
The TJH Project aimed to answer the following key question: What are the strengths and weaknesses of truth telling initiatives overseas and in Australia? From late 2018 to early 2020 Ebony developed an evidence base, summarised in a discussion paper, which will be used to generate a national conversation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, and then to campaign for change based on their views and deliberations, informed by evidence. A condensed version of the discussion paper can be downloaded here: ‘Hear My Heart’ – Truth, Justice & Healing Project – Brief Discussion Paper.
The TJH Project was guided by a Reference Group and Technical Advisors Professor Larissa Behrendt, Professor Mark McMillan, and Elders Dr Mary Graham and Dr Lilla Watson. Research Officer on the TJH Project was Leonie West-Taylor and Project Coordinator was Casey Phillips.
In July 2019, Ebony consulted a national workshop of 30 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders. The national workshop reached resounding commitment to and consensus that the TJH Project was important, timely, and very much needed due its unique evidence-based and community-driven approach.
Ebony especially thanks the Annamila Foundation for their visionary and generous support of the TJH Project and of Ebony. We also thank Wayapa Wuurrk and the Aboriginal Wellness Foundation Ltd for being our supporters and auspice body on this project.
As a result of the clear feedback from the assembled stakeholders, we are now working to secure project partners to enable us to prepare for telling the truth, and begin to answer the questions of what national and local justice and healing should look like.