Still Here
An exhibition about the history of Aboriginal people in Melbourne's West.

The Gathering Place

Local Aboriginal information and services. This site is being developed for more information contact Peter Haffenden at Melbourne's Living Museum on 9318 3544
Local Aboriginal History
Pre European history of Pipemakers Park site - an extract from Pipemakers Park conservation Analysis and Plan 1996
Living Museum Projects
Custodians Welcome
- to the Karen People of Burma
Environmental Projects
- in Pipemakers Park
NAIDOC week coming up - watch this space...
Western Metropolitan Region NAIDOC program July 2004
The Wurundjeri Garden
Pipemakers Park


Koori Gardening Team

Aboriginal Affairs Victoria


The Living Museum has run an Aboriginal Program at Pipemakers Park in Maribyrnong for the past 15 years. The founders of the Museum instructed that any work on Aboriginal history and heritage in the region should be done in consultation with local Aborigines.

The first exhibits and events were developed in 1989 with the Wurundjeri Tribe and Land Council. A former Cultural Officer with the Wurundjeri, Robert Mate Mate, came to work with the Living Museum and set a range of projects into motion. Robert made the needs of the local Aboriginal community the focus of the program.

Robert was followed by Larry Walsh who developed a philosophical framework for the Aboriginal Program and set guidelines for promoting local Aboriginal culture in a way that addressed current issues affecting the Aboriginal community.

The priority of the Program was for Aboriginal people in the western region however it has also developed a series of education services.

The most common service has been talks to students of all ages and other groups. Aboriginal people have held in services with teachers and other groups. There have also been concerts, art classes and dancing. The program expanded in the 1990’s employing Aboriginal artist’s Wendy Berwick and Edgar Harris.

At one stage during the 1990’s more Aboriginal people were employed at the Living Museum than non Aboriginal people.

A very significant outcome of the program has been the establishment of the Koori Gardening Team. A project that began as a training program in horticulture for Aboriginal youth but evolved into a commercial business that operated across Melbourne. The company has since closed but most of those who came through the project have work in horticulture, such as being rangers for Parks Victoria.

Another significant outcome of the program has been that an awareness of local Aboriginal heritage and current Aboriginal issues have become part of other areas of the Museum’s work and staff at the Museum have become conscious of implications for Aboriginal issues and protocol in a range of situations.

The Living Museum does not have an Aboriginal Cultural Officer currently but works closely with a new Aboriginal run organization in the western region of Melbourne, 'The Gathering Place' .

The Museum continues to facilitate and support Aboriginal projects and programs in the western region of Melbourne in close consultation with The Gathering Place.