Wing shaped kinetic sculpture with colourful lighting

First Peoples

Our commitment to the inclusion of First Peoples living cultures, histories and knowledge is at the heart of all that we do at Museums Victoria.

Banner image: Bunjil's wing kinetic sculpture in First Peoples exhibition, Bunjilaka, Melbourne Museum / Museums Victoria / Copyright Photographer: Jon Augier / Creator: ENESS 2014

Museums Victoria maintains significant and ongoing partnerships with First Peoples communities and individuals, and through the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Advisory Committee (a sub-committee of the Museums Board of Victoria) and the Yulendj group, whose knowledge and experiences guide us in our commitment to First Peoples of Victoria, Australia and internationally.

Through partnerships with First Peoples of Victoria we are developing new ways of working collaboratively to respectfully share First Peoples knowledge and stories in dynamic experiences for our visitors.

The First Peoples exhibition at Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre in Melbourne Museum was co-curated with the Yulendj group, based on community advice and knowledge. This exhibition shares knowledge, languages and stories of First Peoples of Victoria and across Australia through the Many Nations display.

Our school education programs and teacher resources extend the learning journey from the First Peoples exhibition to classrooms around Victoria, providing a deeper understanding of the diversity of First Peoples knowledge and cultures of south-eastern Australia.

The initiatives outlined below provide an example of future projects we aspire to deliver with your support.

First Peoples Science Curator

First Peoples’ scientific knowledge of their countries has been built upon over generations.  

This, combined with firsthand perspective and knowledge of Country and events that have shaped the landscape (such as climate change, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, fires and meteorite impacts), provides a deeper understanding of the Country we live on. 

The First Peoples Science Curator will allow for research that brings together different perspectives, knowledge and understanding of the world we live in and inform a wide range of contemporary disciplines. 

Sky Stories

Featuring a 16-metre domed ceiling, the Melbourne Planetarium at Scienceworks is unrivalled in its ability to visually transport audiences into space. By working in partnership with First Peoples communities of Victoria, we will develop a new full dome Planetarium production focused on First Peoples astronomy, knowledge and stories. The full dome show will debut at Scienceworks and will link to the Victorian curriculum, creating opportunities for school groups to experience these significant First Peoples stories. 

Truth Telling: Our Shared History

Working in partnership with First Peoples communities of Victoria to develop an education program for students in years 3-6 to build their understanding of First Peoples’ Countries and knowledge of Melbourne.

Presented in Melbourne Museum’s digital learning space, the Learning Lab, the program will immerse students in an interactive, visual experience that will inspire them to act for a thriving future.

The program will include education resources for students and provide professional development sessions and digital resources for educators.

First Peoples Cadetships​ | Project Funded

We want to create career pathways and opportunities for First Peoples to excel in all facets of our Museums through a First Peoples Cadetship Program for Koorie youth. This two-year program would include Cultural Heritage training and development, mentoring pathways, and opportunities for the cadets to connect to the collections from their Countries and their Ancestors’ stories.

First Peoples Elders in Residence | Project Funded

Building connections between Koorie Elders, Koorie youth and Museum staff is vital to providing culturally safe spaces and opportunities for strengthening cultural knowledge amongst First Peoples staff at the Museum and First Peoples communities, and supporting identity, health and wellbeing.

Through this program, we aim to support cultural safety at Museums Victoria by hosting Elders at Melbourne Museum on-site 3-4 days per week.

These connections will build the capabilities of First Peoples communities and First Peoples staff at the museums, and support programs, content and experiences for Museum audiences.

Donate and support

Donations of $2 or more are tax deductible.

If you would like to learn more about our projects, please contact the Museums Victoria Development Team on +61 (0) 435 174 216 or [email protected].

You can also support First Peoples informed experiences by joining the Director’s Circle and enjoy unparalleled access to your special interest while playing an integral role in its future success.

Unless otherwise agreed, Museums Victoria reserves the right to determine at its sole discretion the initiatives to be delivered and how any donated funds are to be applied.

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