Moondani Balluk Academic Unit

Moondani Balluk means 'embrace people' in the language of the Wurundjeri people who first lived in the western region of Melbourne.

The Boonwurrung and the Wurundjeri of the Kulin have a strong connection to their traditional lands, and therefore the University. Language is used to name the University’s Aboriginal programs and permission has been given to Moondani Balluk to perform ceremony on University land.

Indigenous art

Moondani Balluk logo painted by Paola Balla

The vision of Moondani Balluk Academic Unit is to create and foster:

  • a culturally safe environment that welcomes, nurtures, and recreates community, a community that is embedded in relationship to land, culture, law and Elders
  • sharing Aboriginal knowledge, and translating and embedding Aboriginal practices into all its work, research, and curricula
  • respect for all people within and without Moondani Balluk through mutually engaged relationships
  • a commitment to pursuing political and social justice, equity, and access to education for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • accountability to Aboriginal cultural values, protocols, and norms.

On this page


We value the contribution made by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and recognise the need to enhance the level of opportunity available to them at VU.

Most courses at Victoria University require students to apply to the Victorian Tertiary Admission Centre (VTAC). Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students should refer to the relevant section of the VTAC Special Entry Access Scheme (SEAS) online form and complete this form to assist in their VTAC applications.

VE (TAFE) courses at VU can require direct entry application and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students should contact Moondani Balluk Indigenous Academic Unit for further details.

An Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student Information Form is also required to be completed by prospective students.

Applications from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people may be assessed on an individual basis through direct application to the University after the VTAC process is complete. In such cases, students should seek assistance from the Moondani Balluk Indigenous Academic Unit.

VU Graduations are held every year in Melbourne in May and October. The University requires students to wear the approved academic dress at graduations and Indigenous students have the option to wear and keep the VU Indigenous Stole.

Aboriginal Yulendj & Kyinandoo in the Arts

Across a number of colleges at VU, students can access Aboriginal higher education units. Whether we are conscious of it or not, as citizens we are living out our lives in societies shaped by history, where structures of inequality, including economic and racial inequality, have been laid down in the past.

Aboriginal Yulendj major set

The Aboriginal Yulendj major set is designed to provide students with opportunities to build and critically examine their knowledge and understanding of the nature and place of Aboriginal people in Australian society.

Students will explore, investigate and research the traditional, historical and contemporary nature of Aboriginal society, community, politics, self-determination and sovereignty. They address the University’s commitment to students understanding of the role of culture and to becoming confident, creative, ethical and respectful citizens.

Within Aboriginal Yulendj students will experience Aboriginal Australia via a traditional to contemporary worldview through the understandings and lived experiences of Aboriginal academics. They will challenge standpoints and introduce critical Aboriginal knowledge. Students will develop their skills in communication, critical analysis and evaluation, self-reflection and leadership.

Kyinandoo in the Arts minor

The Kyinandoo in the Arts minor provides an integrated set of units in Aboriginal Australia. It covers disciplinary knowledge in Aboriginal Australia with a focus on Aboriginal politics and self-determination from a historical to contemporary focus through the eyes of Aboriginal activists and artists that will challenge worldviews and introduce critical Aboriginal knowledge and understandings.

Students will develop their skills in oral communication, critical analysis and different forms of writing for audiences.

Assessment tasks across the minor include ‘yarning’, Aboriginal site visits, oral presentations, group projects that include presentation of information via theatre, and essays.

Mumgu-Dhal Tyama-Tiyt

VU offers the Indigenous Foundation Program 22218VIC - Certificate III in Mumgu-Dhal Tyama-Tiyt.

This program provides a return to learning project-based course in a culturally safe environment. It is designed to re-engage participants with education and offer a pathway into further education and employment.

Student support

Moondani Balluk Indigenous Academic Unit assists Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students with:

  • academic support - tutoring and mentoring in assessment tasks, photocopying and computer facilities
  • access to the Indigenous Resource Library
  • counselling and discrimination advice and referral
  • employment and careers advice - work experience, job vacancies, cadetships
  • enrolment and course advice
  • Graduations and option to wear and keep the VU Aboriginal stole (a kind of academic dress worn at VU graduation ceremonies which are held every year in Melbourne in May and October)
  • referrals and support in housing, finance and other matters
  • scholarships and awards
  • social support - culturally safe space, drop-in centre, contact to community organisations and events.

Yannoneit Employment Strategy

VU has developedYannoneit, an Indigenous Employment and Career Development Strategy as part of our ongoing commitment to equality and diversity. Yannoneit Employment Strategy (YES) encourages the recruitment and career development of Indigenous Australians by providing opportunities to gain professional qualifications, work skills and experience in a wide range of jobs at VU.

Indigenous Education Statement

The VU 2013 Indigenous Education Statement is a report provided to the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations (now the Department of Education). The report was created as a summary of outcomes and future plans to meet ongoing responsibilities for Indigenous student achievement in higher education.

Bruce McGuinness Indigenous Postdoctoral Research Fellowship

In 2015, the inaugural Victoria University Bruce McGuinness Indigenous Postdoctoral Research Fellowship program will support an outstanding Indigenous early career researcher seeking an academic/research career.

In direct alliance with the work of Dr Bruce McGuinness, the encompassing aim of this Fellowship is to use the tools of research to improve community wellbeing and promote community empowerment.

VU Aboriginal pages

Some other content on the VU website with Aboriginal related content:

You might also be interested in reading about VU Indigenous partnerships.



Contact us

Download the Moondani Balluk brochure.

Phone: +61 3 9919 2836 (reverse charge calls accepted)