Koorie Heritage Trust
The Koorie Heritage Trust was established in 1985 with a commitment to protect, preserve and promote the living culture of the Indigenous people of south-east Australia. Today the Trust boasts extensive collections of artefacts, paintings, photographs, oral history recordings and library materials. Through museum-standard storage, documentation and conservation, we seek to protect and preserve the collection for future generations. We also use the collection to promote Koorie Aboriginal culture through an active exhibition program. The Centre's motto is Gnokan Danna Murra Kor-Ki (Give me your hand my friend) and Bridge the Cultural Gap.
The Trust's Collections are unique as they concentrate solely on the Aboriginal culture of south-eastern Australia (Victoria). The Trust acts as a 'Keeping Place' for the Koorie community, preserving and protecting Koorie culture and heritage for years to come. The Trust has an extremely significant, extensive and irreplaceable collection of pre-contact, historic and contemporary items from south-eastern Australia, that provide a tangible link to connect the community to the past and assist in the rebuilding of Koorie culture. These items act as an invaluable resource to Koorie artists who are looking for inspiration for their artwork or community members who are looking to strengthen their traditional links and identity. The Trust's collection is also very important symbolically for instilling pride in the Koorie community and in the celebration and promotion of Koorie culture. The Trust's collections lie in the following areas: Artefact (3000+), Picture (900+), Photographic (95,000 +), Library (6,000), and Oral History collections (1,800+).
The Koorie Heritage Trust collections are unique in their scope, with items from pre-contact, contact, mission-era and contemporary times relating to the Aboriginal people of the south-east of Australia (Victoria). This collection is significant as the only Koorie cultural collection wholly owned and managed by Koories themselves. It is also significant as a resource that protects and preserves the living Koorie culture that extends back in time for more than 40,000 years. There are items of national significance, such as drawings by Tommy McRae and William Barak from the late 19th century. The Trust?s collection is also very important symbolically for instilling pride in the Koorie community and in the celebration and promotion of Koorie culture.
Above photograph: Peter Bennett, 2015