Tommy McRae’s contribution to recording Indigenous history recognised on Arts West façade

Corroboree, an ink drawing by the nineteenth century Indigenous artist Tommy McRae, has been transformed into a monumental work of public art on the north façade of the University’s new Arts West building. The inclusion of this work by McRae has inscribed a powerful and important Indigenous perspective on Australian history into the building’s skin.

Also known as Tommy Barnes and by his Aboriginal names Yackaduna or Warra-euea, Tommy McRae was born in the 1830s in the Corowa area identifying as part of the Kwatkwat tribe. By 1845 he was one of a few hundred traditional owners of the land left in the area. While working for local pastoralists, including Wahgunyah pioneer John Foord, McRae witnessed how settlers, miners and his relatives related to each other. He then made records of what he saw – his drawings. More

View the University of Melbourne Archives blog to find out how Tommy McRae’s Corroboree came to the University.

Tommy McRae, Corroboree, c.1890. University of Melbourne Archives

Image: Tommy McRae, Corroboree, c.1890. University of Melbourne Archives