About Us

The University’s extensive museums and collections are one part of the University of Melbourne’s Cultural Commons.

The University’s Cultural Commons Strategy is an inspired, visionary attempt to bring to life the unique artistic, archival and cultural wealth inherited by the University from generations of donors, philanthropists and alumni. It aims to integrate and embed more deeply our cultural treasures in the research and learning that takes place across the disciplines.”
- Prof Duncan Maskell, Vice Chancellor The University of Melbourne

The University’s cultural commons shows an enduring relationship with communities of origin and tells a uniquely Australian story. It honors 65,000 years of First People’s knowledge, and demonstrates 200 years of engaging with European heritage, generations of migrant stories and a rich blend of contemporary experiences, art and knowledge.

Our Cultural Commons includes:

  • Indigenous collections, including the Leonhard Adam Collection from Australia, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, Asia, America and Africa and the Donald Thomson Collection with artefacts from over 90 communities of origin
  • A historic and contemporary collection of cultural and scientific significance
  • Dynamic and enlivening infrastructure at Southbank and Parkville, that adds cultural capital to our city
  • A rich and enduring legacy of student theatre and the Melbourne Theatre Company, drawing audiences of more than 250,000 people
  • A cultural footprint beyond city and state through regional campuses and international partnerships

Download the full strategy here

For more information on the Performing Arts program, another essential pillar of the University’s Cultural Commons Strategy visit https://finearts-music.unimelb.edu.au/showcase