Museums Victoria celebrates ten years of Bunjilaka's award-winning First People's Exhibition

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Museums Victoria celebrates ten years of Bunjilaka's award-winning First People's Exhibition
First Peoples exhibition in Bunjilaka, Melbourne Museum. Source: Museums Victoria / Photo: Jon Augier.



MELBOURNE.- Created in consultation with the Yulendj Group of Elders and community representatives, the award-winning First Peoples exhibition was launched in the Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre at Melbourne Museum on 7 September, 2013.

Museums Victoria commemorates this ten-year landmark moment with a Community Day on Sunday 10 September, 10am-4pm. Celebrations include a Welcome and Smoking Ceremony, First Peoples market, performances, family programming activities, tours of the exhibition, all broadcast live, onsite, by 3KND (Kool N Deadly).

As one of the country’s first exhibitions to be informed through deep community consultation, collaboration and truth-telling, Bunjilaka’s First Peoples Exhibition tells the histories, challenges preconceptions and fosters connections through the shared lived experiences of people, place and story.

“This exhibition was made by mob, for mob and takes the visitor on a journey with us” said Head of First Peoples Experiences Justice Nelson.

“Our community’s collective wisdom, cultures, stories, cultural items and knowledges have been the guiding force behind its development and its recognition nationally and internationally “I was here for the planning and creation of this exhibition and am honoured and proud to be here for its 10th birthday.”

Comprising of four distinct sections – Our Story, Generations, Deep Listening, and Many Nations – the exhibition draws upon 500 cultural items from across Australia, each serving as evidence of the remarkable craftsmanship and cultural significance of their creators, and delving into the rich cultural heritage and history of Victorian First Peoples.

The impact of the exhibition has been recognised both nationally and globally, receiving the prestigious Overall Winner award at the 26th annual American Alliance of Museums (AAM) Excellence in Exhibitions Competition, and an award for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Tourism at the 2019 Victorian Tourism Awards. This followed previous recognition of the Best Exhibition and Best Project awards at the Australian Museums and Galleries Association National Awards. Such praise and recognition for its innovative design and creative storytelling underscores Museums Victoria’s dedication to engaging and educating diverse audiences.

In celebrating this milestone, Museums Victoria acknowledges the invaluable partnership with the Victorian First Peoples community, whose contributions have been instrumental in shaping such a meaningful journey. In fact, this year also marks Museums Victoria’s six-year anniversary working with its media partner 3KND Kool ‘N’ Deadly – Melbourne’s first Indigenous owned and managed radio station.

"3KnD is so pleased to be able to continue to build our relationship with Museums Victoria and extend our partnership with this renewal of our MOU,” 3KND General Manager Gerry “GMan” Lyons.

“Working together is walking together - to strengthen the understanding our community has with Museums Victoria, the respect they show towards items that are sacred and significant to our culture, and to share the new insights and understanding of research that will provide for our young generations in the future.”

Museums Victoria began working with 3KND in 2017, building the partnership from strength to strength ever since, supported through the station’s coverage of Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre exhibitions and programming, Museums Victoria Research Institute projects and First People’s led initiatives such as Cultural Heritage training and development and Melbourne Museum’s First People’s cadetship program.

"We are proud to partner with 3KND, which provides a vital voice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, arts, culture and politics.” said Museums Victoria CEO & Director Lynley Crosswell.

“Partnering with 3KND has been, and will continue to be a central element in strengthening Museums Victoria’s relationship with First People’s communities.”










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