The Royal Commission into Mental Health in Victoria wants to provide Victoria with a clear and ambitious set of actions that will change Victoria’s mental health system and enable Victorians to experience their best mental health now and into the future.

They are working to reduce the stigma and discrimination associated with mental illness and promote more inclusive communities throughout Victoria. To develop their findings and recommendations, they are engaging with Victorian communities and encourage people to share their experiences and suggestions.

The Royal Commission delivered its interim report to the Victorian Government on November 2019. 

The Royal Commission's Final Report was released in February 2021 and is available to the public.



Public Hearings 

Between 2-26 July 2019 the Royal Commission will conduct its first public hearings. Witnesses will include consumers and carers, service providers and their workforce, experts and government representatives.

The hearings will mainly be held on weekdays at the Melbourne Town Hall. The hearings will be live streamed unless the Royal Commission orders otherwise.  

For a full schedule of the hearings please click here



Aboriginal Community Hearing 

16 July 2019: 10AM – 4PM

Aborigines Advancement League

2 Watt Street, Thornbury, Victoria 

An Aboriginal Community public hearing took place on 16 July 2019 at the Aborigines Advancement League. This, and other hearings with Aboriginal community members, will consider how the mental health system recognises and responds to the needs of Aboriginal people. This was an open and public event with counselling support arranged for people attending. 

The Commission heard Expert Witness Statements from: 

  • Helen Kennedy, Acting CEO, Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation 
  • Andrew Jackomos, Executive Director, Aboriginal Economic Development, Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions 
  • Professor Helen Milroy, Commissioner, National Mental Health Commission 
  • Adam Burns, Psychiatric Nurse, Wadamba Wilam 
  • Dr Graham Gee, Senior Psychologist, Victorian Aboriginal Health Service
  • Two other Aboriginal Community representatives 
Auntie Di Kerr conducted the Welcome to Country.                                                                                                                                                                       

What's VACCHO's role after the Hearings? 

VACCHO has advocated for more hearings in regional areas. We have recently received funding from the State Government to facilitate further consultations with the Aboriginal community beyond the 16 July public hearing. We want to ensure that Community voices and expertise are heard through this process and reflected in the Commission’s recommendations. More information will be posted about these consultations as it comes to hand.

For further information on VACCHO's role in the Royal Commission into Victoria's Mental Health System please contact Isaac Eyalama on 03 9411 9411.

Find out what our position is on this Royal Commission.


Key Dates

5 July 2019

First round submissions close

16 July 2019

Public Hearing at the Aborigines Advancement League, Thornbury. 

November 2019

Interim report published

May-June 2020

Jirra Harvey managed the consultation project with Victorian Aboriginal communities through State-wide surveys and face-to-face online consultations.

5 February 2021

Final report published 


Looking after ourselves

Whilst the Commission has organised for counselling and other supports for people attending hearings, we strongly encourage you to arrange the same supports for individuals watching should you choose to stream the Commission’s proceedings at your local Aboriginal Community controlled health service.

Other supports and story sharing can be found below.

 tandem logo