Indigenous community engagement

Moondani Balluk engages in and with community in a multitude of ways, including:

  • partnerships with local community groups
  • community education
  • education and engagement initiatives within non-governmental organisations.


The University has a Community Engagement Strategy, working with Moondani Balluk to establish and maintain respectful relationships with the Aboriginal community in the west of Melbourne.

Moondani Balluk is in partnership with Aboriginal groups, local Aboriginal community members and community organisations. Our aim is to advance opportunities for local Aboriginal people. We work closely with:

In 2019, the Wunggurrwil Dhurrung Centre in Wyndham was opened to provide a place for the Aboriginal community to gather. The Centre includes an early years' space and the Koling wada-ngal (Walk together – Wadawurrung) space specifically for Aboriginal people. 

Local cultural-strengthening programs are poised to deliver their programs so that Aboriginal people can grow, connect and share cultural practices with each other. 

Over many years Moondani Balluk and the Wyndham City Council worked with the Wyndham Aboriginal Community Centre Committee (now named Koling wada-ngal) to plan the purpose built Centre in Wyndham. The Centre took out the highest honour in the Victorian Architecture Awards 2020 for best practice in environmentally sustainable architecture. 

Other highlights include director of Moondani Balluk, Karen Jackson, being appointed to the Victorian Aboriginal Economic and Employment Council.

Another appointment in late-2019 saw Kim Kruger, Lecturer and Researcher at Moondani Balluk, of the Murroona/Djiru people, appointed to the Creative Victoria First Peoples Directions Circle in 2019 to advise on the development of the state of Victoria's creative industries strategy (2020-2024). 

Outreach work

Moondani Balluk provides avenues and support for Aboriginal people, staff and students to come together to advocate and inform on a range of topics important to the Aboriginal community. This is in line with our research mandate to empower self-determining and decolonising practices from a community-controlled and based standpoint.

Public education activities include:

  • Presenting Yarning Circle: Holding Space for Community and Activism as Indigenous researchers – International Conference of Community Psychology 2020.
  • Presenting Knowing our Languages public event and dance performance to celebrate the International Year of Indigenous Languages in 2019.
  • Co-hosting and curating film screenings and exhibitions such as BlackScreen (Footscray Community Arts Centre), Executed in Franklin Street (Melbourne Town Hall 2015-2016) and Sovereignty (ACCA 2016).
  • Production of fiction and poetry such as Tony Birch’s Du meme sang (Mercure De France, 2016); Broken Teeth (Birch Cordite Press 2016); Ghost River (University of Queensland Press 2016), winner of the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Indigenous Writing; Common People (University of Queensland Press 2017); and The White Girl (University of Queensland Press 2019), winner of the 2020 NSW Permier’s Prize for Indigenous Writing and shortlisted for the 2020 Miles Franklin Literary Prize.  In 2017, Tony Birch was awarded the Patrick White Literary Award.
  • Development of theatre and TV-documentaries of historical and educational significance such as Foley (2011-2012) with Iljiberri Theatre, Persons of Interest – Episode 3 Gary Foley (SBS TV 2013) and Redfern Story (ABC TV 2014).
  • Bonmarart Leewik (Strong Ancestors Project) website documenting places in Melbourne's Western region significant for Aboriginal people and activism of the 20th century.
Paola Balla, PhD, is an artist, curator, speaker, educator and community arts worker.

Aboriginal resource guide

VU created the Aboriginal Resource Guide (PDF, 414.8 KB)for use by service providers and agencies and Aboriginal people. This was done in conjunction with the Department of Health & Human Services and the Brimbank City Council.