Indigenous Art and Culture

Indigenous Engineering and Technology at Budj Bim

Our Work

The Indigenous Collections team is applying new approaches to enhance how Museums and Universities collaborate with people in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Supporting living culture and the sharing and access of collections is foundational to The Place for Indigenous Art and Culture.

The Place

The Place for Indigenous Art and Culture (PIAC) seeks to transform the museum as we know it into an Indigenous-led research and teaching facility that celebrates Australian Aboriginal culture, art, and knowledge in transformational ways.

The Place will be located on the University of Melbourne Parkville campus and will comprise a new purpose-built building, the refurbishment of the former Vice-Chancellor’s Residence to house visiting communities, and the creation of a new Ceremonial Space.

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smoking ceremony on grounds of University of Melbourne
A Yolnu man with traditional face paint speaks to a visitor about an artwork

What's On

Explore our touring exhibition Madayin: Eight decades of Australian Aboriginal bark paintings from Yirrkala and our major upcoming exhibition 65,000 Years: A Short History of Australian Art.

Stay connected with news and updates.

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Explore Collection

The University of Melbourne’s art and cultural collections include significant Indigenous Australian materials of art and culture. More than 90+ communities of origin are represented. This unique cultural richness continues to be valued by communities of origin who play a vital role in keeping these collections fresh.

The Place for Indigenous Art and Culture project will co-locate four of the University’s most significant Indigenous collections in the heart of the Parkville campus in Melbourne. The Collections include the Donald Thomson Collection, the Woodward Collection, Leonhard Adam Collection, and the Nancy Williams Library.

The purpose built facility will not only ensure communities of origin have meaningful access to their objects, those objects will be cared for in more appropriate and accessible ways.

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A woven eel trap sits on display. It has a small opening for the eel to enter and a long narrowing tail so it can't escape
Sandra Aitken Gnarraban (eel basket), 2023
© Sandra Aitken, photo © Matthew Stanton


Repatriating the University's Indigenous Collection with community is our driving force. Find out about our important repatriation work and how to apply.

Learn more about the history of Aboriginal ancestral remains collected, used, and previously held by the University of Melbourne, its current policy-informed approach to repatriation and the process of repatriating ancestral remains in Victoria.

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About Us

We work closely with communities of origin to revitalise culture, pass on knowledge, and strengthen identity. Our purpose is to enhance education and conservation of Indigenous knowledge for future generations through shared power and transparent decision-making. We put community at the heart of everything we do.

Meet our team. Hear how we’re working with our partners. Learn more about the University’s strategic approach to Indigenous Collections.

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young artist painting a boomerang

Contact Us

Got a question about Repatriation?
Got a question about our Collection?
Any other questions?

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