Victoria was originally inhabited by hunter-gatherer Aboriginal people for at least 65,000 years. The various Aboriginal groups include the Boonwuurung, the Bratauolung, the Djadjawurrung, the Gunai, the Gunditjmara, the Taungurong, the Wathaurong, the Wurundjeri, and the Yorta Yorta. For more information on Victorian Aboriginals including a map of Victorian Aboriginal language territories:
For the period 1836 to 1859 records about the administration of Aboriginal affairs are held by Public Records Office Victoria, while those from 1860 to 1972 are largely, but not entirely, with the National Archives of Australia in Melbourne. The split is the result of 1975 Victorian legislation transferring responsibility for Aboriginal affairs to the Commonwealth. Records that had already been deposited with Public Record Office Victoria remained there; those not already deposited were transferred by the Victorian Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs to the Commonwealth.
Historical Records of Victoria Volume 2 and Volume 7 Addendum 2. This is edited by Michael Cannon and contains transcribed records relating to Indigenous Victorians. The records date from 1835 to 1840. They are indexed.
PUBLIC RECORD OFFICE VICTORIA - KOORIE INDEX OF NAMES 1839-1946
The Koorie Index of Names is a database which can be searched to locate references to Victorian Indigenous people who are mentioned in some archival records that relate to Aboriginal affairs. This is only searchable on-site at the Victorian Archives Centre in North Melbourne or at the Ballarat Archives Centre. It is not online.
PUBLIC RECORDS OFFICE VICTORIA - INWARD REGISTERED CORRESPONDENCE TO THE SUPERINTENDENT OF PORT PHILLIP DISTRICT RELATING TO ABORIGINAL AFFAIRS 1839-1851 (VPRS 10)
This series contains correspondence about Aboriginal Affairs which was sent to the Superintendent of the Port Phillip District during the operation of the Aboriginal Protectorate between 1839 and 1851.They have been digitized and can be seen online.
PUBLIC RECORDS OFFICE VICTORIA - UNREGISTERED INWARD CORRESPONDENCE TO THE CHIEF PROTECTOR OF ABORIGINES REPORTS AND RETURNS 1839-1851 (VPRS 11 P0)
This series contains correspondence to Chief Protector of Aborigines Robinson from assistant protectors, medical officers and dispensers, and some private individuals. They have been digitized and can be seen online.
PUBLIC RECORDS OFFICE VICTORIA - NATIVE POLICE CORPS, NARRE WARREN 1845-1853 (VPRS 90)
This series consist of one journal of day to day activities of the Native Police Corps, Narre Warren, from 1845-1853. They have been digitized and can be seen online.
PUBLIC RECORDS OFFICE VICTORIA - ABORIGINAL MISSION STATIONS AND RESERVES 1869-1970s
This is a finding aid for Aboriginal Mission Stations and Reserves. Most of the records in the collection relate to the Aboriginal missions and reserves at Coranderrk, Framlingham, Lake Condah, Ebenezer (Lake Hindmarsh), Lake Tyers and Ramahyuck. The records are not online.
PUBLIC RECORDS OFFICE VICTORIA - BOARD FOR THE PROTECTION OF ABORIGINES CORRESPONDENCE 1869-1957 (VPRS 1694)
This is a finding aid for the Board for the Protection of Aborigines Correspondence. The correspondence is not online.
For the period 1836 to 1859 records about the administration of indigenous affairs are held by Public Records Office Victoria, while those from 1860 to 1972 are largely, but not entirely, with the National Archives of Australia in Melbourne. The split is the result of 1975 Victorian legislation transferring responsibility for indigenous affairs to the Commonwealth Government. Records that had already been deposited with Public Record Office Victoria remained there; those not already deposited were transferred by the Victorian State Government to the Commonwealth Government.
The National Archives of Australia also holds Commonwealth Government records relating to Indigenous Australians from 1967 to 1990.
The Bringing Them Home Name Index is a list of names of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who appear in government files. Staff at the National Archives of Australia can search the Bringing Them Home Name Index for particular names. They can also search a list of World War I Indigenous servicemen. The index is not online.
See Building Records.
AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL UNIVERSITY - INDIGENOUS AUSTRALIA
This website has biographies of significant and representative Indigenous persons in Australian history.
AUSTRALIAN INSTITUTE OF ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER STUDIES
This is a world-renowned research, collections and publishing organisation. It promotes knowledge and understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, traditions, languages and stories, past and present.
ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER BIOGRAPHICAL INDEX
The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Biographical Index (ABI) is an index of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander names selected from generally available publications held at AIATSIS. These publications are books and articles created by, with, or about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. There are more than 45,000 individual names and more than 75,000 records in the ABI. This is searchable.
VICTORIAN GOVERNMENT PROTECTORS' REPORTS 1861-1959
The website includes a digitized collection of reports relating to the following agencies:
AUSTRALASIAN LEGAL INFORMATION INSTITUTE - AUSTRALIAN INDIGENOUS LAW LIBRARY
This includes indigenous legal resources including government reports, case law, legislation, law journals and treaties, plus full text of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody and the Bringing Them Home report.
Aboriginal Victoria broadly works on Aboriginal policy reform, with a focus on self-determination and treaty, community strengthening and engagement and cultural heritage management and protection. Aboriginal Victoria is also responsible for the implementation of the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006 and the Aboriginal Lands Act 1970.
VICTORIAN ABORIGINAL HERITAGE COUNCIL
The Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Council was created under the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006 to ensure that Traditional Owners throughout Victoria play a central role in the protection and management of their heritage.
BUNJILAKA ABORIGINAL CULTURAL CENTRE
This is part of Museums Victoria.
KOORIE HERITAGE TRUST
This organization relates to the Aboriginal people of South Eastern Australia. It offers a range of programs and services including the only public collection in Victoria dedicated solely to Koorie art and culture comprising artefacts, pictures and photographs as well as an Oral History Program and a Reference Library. It also offers a Koorie Family History Service.
CENTRE FOR INDIGENOUS FAMILY HISTORY STUDIES
This web site has been created to provide a resource for those people researching their Aboriginal heritage. The material on this site has been extracted from publically available records in various state and federal archives throughout Australia.
TROVE NEWSPAPERS - THE AUSTRALIAN ABO CALL 1938
KOORI MAIL NEWSPAPERS 1991-PRESENT
The website has a digitized collection of the Koori Mail, Australia's fortnightly national Indigenous newspaper.
STATE LIBRARY OF NEW SOUTH WALES - INFOKOORI, AUSTRALIAN INDIGENOUS INDEX
INFOKOORI is an index to the Koori Mail a national fortnightly newspaper published in Lismore, New South Wales, that focuses on the Indigenous people of Australia, from May 1991 to July 2016. It is also an index to biographical information from various magazines including: Our Aim (1907-1961), Dawn (1952-1969), New Dawn (1970-1975) and Identity (1971-1982). Other historical information about Aboriginal people and communities, from newspapers published in NSW, is also being added to INFOKOORI.