Home > Interact With Us > Media centre > Indigenous Research Fellowships at State Library Victoria

Indigenous Research Fellowships at State Library Victoria

Media release

Thursday 04 August 2022


Victorian Indigenous creatives and scholars are encouraged to let ideas take flight and apply for one of two $15,000 fellowships dedicated to First Nations people at State Library Victoria. The brief: be inspired, repurpose and reimagine the Library’s unique and rich collections and share discoveries through any medium – visual or performing arts, music, film writing, spoken word, and poetry.

In 2023, State Library Victoria offers two dedicated Indigenous research fellowships: the Indigenous Victorian Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Research Fellowship and the Indigenous Victorian Aboriginal Family History Fellowship.

The fellowships are open to researchers, writers and creatives who identify as Indigenous Victorian Aboriginal. The recipients will work within the Victorian Indigenous Research Centre (VIRC), receive a grant of $15,000, desk space, research support from Library staff and access to the Library’s podcast studios. The fellowships aim to increase Aboriginal Victorians’ access to cultural knowledge within the Library’s collections, including significant primary evidence of the interactions between white settlers and Victoria’s Aboriginal communities since colonisation; documentation of Victorian Aboriginal people by anthropologists, colonial administrators and photographers; and cultural knowledge provided by the Ancestors.

The importance of access to this collection material for the Victorian Aboriginal community cannot be overstated. The material has breathed life into cultural renewal programs that are restoring a sense of place and engendering a healthy self-esteem, and it has the potential to do much more with the addition of the Indigenous Victorian Aboriginal Family History Fellowship – an opportunity to discover family connections and create a means of sharing these findings among the family networks. This responds to Native Title issues and Stolen Generations connections.

Wurundjeri educator and current fellow Brooke Wandin is researching the collection to develop a Woiwurrung language database and a map of Country including original names of places and features of the landscape. 

“The materials in the collection are priceless, the records link me to the ancient words of my Ancestors, showing me that language reinvigoration is possible. I assumed that fellowships were for a certain type of person, I was wrong! All you need is a clear vision, a passion and plenty of curiosity.”

“The volunteers and staff at State Library are a wonderful lot, eager to assist. To have the staff and a space at VIRC is a bonus, a point of contact for a yarn, a question or two and a cuppa. If you are thinking about applying, do it! I feel a greater connection to Country, culture, language, family and self” she said.

State Library Victoria’s Elder-in-residence and Koori Librarian, Maxine Briggs is excited about the discoveries that lie ahead.

“The Victorian Indigenous Research Centre is a space dedicated to Indigenous people. The Library holds an incredible collection of records, family histories and photographs of ancestors from the earliest days of the colony. Discovering and sharing this knowledge is an important part of understanding who we are, connecting with Country and rebuilding our kinship networks” she said.

The Indigenous research fellowships information session will be held on 11 August, 1pm – 2pm.

To book, please visit slv.vic.gov.au/whats-on/indigenous-cultural-research-fellowship-session.

To find out more, and to apply, please visit slv.vic.gov.au/fellowships.

ENDS

About State Library

State Library Victoria is Australia’s oldest public research library and one of the first free libraries in the world. As the custodian of Victoria’s history, the library has a rich collection of physical and digital items such articles, artworks, photographs, manuscripts, books, journals, artefacts that are accessible to the public via exhibitions, online catalogue searches, podcasts and videos. The Library is home to the Victorian Indigenous Research Centre which works to ensure that the Indigenous Community is represented, acknowledged and respected in all Library programs, services and projects.