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Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre respectfully acknowledges the traditional owners of Melbourne, the Boon wurrung and the Woi wurrung language groups of the greater Kulin nation.
The museum is on land where Aboriginal people have lived, laughed, fought, married, dreamed and died for thousands of years. Now, in Bunjilaka, we tell the story of survival against the odds and celebrate our vibrant cultures through performances, storytelling, artwork and more.
With the opening of First Peoples in 2013, Bunjilaka presents the Koorie experience with immense power, depth and respect in a major permanent exhibition entirely co-created with Aboriginal people. Bunjilaka's art space, Birrarung Gallery, holds three exhibitions a year of work by contemporary Koorie artists. Birrarung looks out to Milari Garden where we grow plants of significance to the First Peoples of Victoria. Kalaya is our performance space. Judy Watson's major artwork Wurreka adorns the wall outside First Peoples, which leads into a gallery for temporary and touring exhibitions about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures.
Bunjil is the Ancestral Wedge-tailed Eagle, the creator. Waa is the Ancestral Crow, the protector. Bunjil created much of south-eastern Australia and the features and animals within it. He also created people, by breathing life into figures moulded from clay.
Stories of Bunjil and Waa provide meaning to south-eastern Aboriginal people. A person's affinity with either Bunjil or Waa defines their kinship relationships, marriage partners and social responsibilities.
Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre was planned in collaboration with many Aboriginal people, including the traditional owners of Melbourne, the Boonwurrung and the Woi wurrung. The name Bunjilaka was chosen as it means 'the place of Bunjil', evoking a sense of ongoing creation.