Victorian inquiry to probe justice system

Indigenous Victorians will be able to share their stories about injustice in the child protection and criminal systems as part of Australia's first formal truth-telling inquiry.

The Yoorrook Justice Commission is calling for responses to issues papers on the critical topics, with deputy chair Sue-Anne Hunter saying the country is seeing "a new Stolen Generation happening before our eyes".

"The harm inflicted on the Stolen Generation continues to traumatise our people, yet record numbers of First Peoples' children are being taken from their families - at a rate 20 times greater than non-Aboriginal kids," she said.

"Too many children are still separated from kin, Country and culture as a result of detrimental policies and practices."

Public hearings will begin on the issues on December 5, when about 40 witnesses will start sharing their insights on First Peoples' harm at the hands of unjust laws and practices within the criminal justice and child protection systems.

The hearings will also look at why governments are yet to make change.

Aboriginal people are still being imprisoned at 14 times the rate of non-Indigenous Victorians, and more than 500 Aboriginal people have died in custody since a royal commission into the issue, Ms Hunter said.

"The seeming inability or unwillingness to change these systems is the unfinished business the Yoorrook Justice Commission will focus on in the next phase of its inquiry," she said.

"By telling the truth about the criminal justice and child protection systems and holding those in power to account, we can create a fairer Victoria where everyone has the same chance to thrive."

The truth-telling inquiry will continue taking submissions and hearing about other injustices experienced by First Peoples parallel with its work on the criminal justice and child protection systems.

Indigenous people who want to share their insights on the systems should do so by November 21.

Yoorrook has been tasked with creating a public record of colonisation's impacts on First Nations people in Victoria.

The inquiry released its interim report in June, calling for a two-year extension of the deadline for its final report to 2026.

It was set up as part of Victoria's commitment to truth and treaty elements from the 2017 Uluru Statement from the Heart, with negotiations on a statewide treaty set to begin next year.