Victoria University research that builds an understanding of Aboriginal political history and balances a colonial bias in Australian history has been recognised for its strong impact.

The Australian Government’s Engagement and Impact Assessment 2018-19 National Report (EI 2018) – the first assessment of how universities translate research into benefits for society – gave top impact ratings to research that uncovers significant ‘hidden chapters’ in Aboriginal political history and documents Australia’s Black Power movement and the 1972 Aboriginal Embassy.

The evidence captured in this foundational research now forms part of a comprehensive digital Aboriginal History Archive comprising a large number of primary-source materials. The materials are not available or easily accessible elsewhere, collected and donated by individuals and community organisations.  They include correspondence, manuscripts, press clippings, photos, videos and campaign ephemera.

Aimed at delivering a strong evidence base for understanding Australia’s contemporary history, the Archive is a valuable resource for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians, educators, students, historians, academics, and new generations of activists.

It is the centrepiece of Victoria University Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Research conducted within VU’s Moondani Balluk Academic Unit.

Dr Edwina Howell, Chief Investigator on the Aboriginal History Archive, said VU was privileged to have a dedicated team of Indigenous and non-Indigenous researchers guiding the development of the project.

“The Aboriginal History Archive radically alters the current paradigm through which Australian history and Aboriginal politics is understood, and how Aboriginal people, their history and perspectives are perceived, valued and taught in Australia,” she said.

Dr Edwina Howell is available for comment.

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