Promote Aboriginal history

Why is this important?

Local governments play an important role in promoting and celebrating local histories. Promoting Aboriginal histories adds an important dimension to these activities and can be an important step towards reconciliation.

Victoria has a rich and diverse Aboriginal history going back thousands of years which continues today. The cultural traditions and places in the landscape illustrate aspects of this. It is important that Aboriginal people see the long history of their connection to places is reflected appropriately in histories, as well as their continuing connection with the land.

Many Aboriginal people have played a significant role in the development of local areas post settlement. Recognition of the active involvement of Aboriginal people in the community is a positive step and supports a culture of respect in the broader community.


What can your council do? 

Councils can promote Aboriginal history in many ways. These include:

  • Accessing and making available council records and resources to research and document Aboriginal history
  • Working with the local Aboriginal community to research, document and promote Aboriginal history
  • Identifying areas of importance and significance to Aboriginal people today
  • Working with Traditional Owners to provide appropriate signage and interpretation for the general community to recognise the connection of Aboriginal people to places prior to European settlement.


The 2012 Victorian Local Government Aboriginal Engagement and Reconciliation Survey found that 62 councils promoted Aboriginal history in some way. This included promoting Aboriginal history  on council websites, through resources or exhibitions in libraries, on information boards and plaques, and at heritage trails.

Chart 8 Ways in Which Councils promote Indigenous history

Last Updated: October 3, 2018 at 5:32 pm

Case studies

Fitzroy Aboriginal History Walk

In 2009, City of Yarra developed a walking map to enable local residents, tourists and historians to take a self-guided tour through Aboriginal Fitzroy. By developing and promoting the map, the City of Yarra recognises the long and continuing history of the Wurundjeri people in the area now known as Fitzroy. The trail also promotes the important post-contact Aboriginal places and history of Fitzroy.


Other good resources

Aboriginal history of Yarra teacher’s resource

Share our pride – understand how life looks for an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander person 

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures – ABC education series

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