Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre at Melbourne Museum.
Image: Megan Lomax
Source: Museum Victoria
Question: What is the Bunjilaka redevelopment, and how can I get involved?
Answer: The Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre is a gallery and performance space dedicated to Indigenous stories and culture, located within the Melbourne Museum. The entrance comprises Wurreka, an etched zinc wall that leads to Birrarung, a gallery dedicated to contemporary works by Victorian Aboriginal artists. This leads into Kalaya, a space for dance, music and other performances. Outside, the Milarri Garden represents local relationships with the land, and significant flora and fauna. Finally, Jumbunna houses Bunjilaka’s main exhibitions, showcasing items from the Museum’s collections, and travelling displays.
Indigenous culture is not static, and Indigenous stories are not merely histories, but are ongoing, developing and transformative. In recent years, several events of deep significance have occurred for Aboriginal people, such as various significant native title decisions, the Northern Territory intervention, and a long-delayed apology to the stolen generations. For this reason, it is essential that Museum Victoria and Bunjilaka continually reassess and refresh the presentation and content of displays and programs.
The redevelopment will involve the renewal and redesign of the Jumbunna display gallery, in consultation with the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Advisory Committee. New experiences and displays will be created, broadening the representation of cultures and communities within the Museum.
Another focus of the redevelopment process will be education, as Museum Victoria has a goal that all Victorian school children will experience Indigenous culture at Bunjilaka at least once during their school career.
An essential part of Bunjilaka’s redevelopment, and Museum Victoria’s ongoing mission, is that of consultation with Indigenous communities. To further that goal, Museum Victoria is inviting community members and leaders to contribute to the redevelopment planning process, to share ideas and be involved with the ongoing dialogue between the Museum and the communities it represents.
The redeveloped Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre is anticipated to open in 2012.
For more information, please contact:
Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre
GPO Box 666
Telephone +61 3 8341 7300 or +61 3 8341 7169