Aboriginal History Archive

The Aboriginal History Archive (AHA) comprises thousands of rare photos, videos, campaign ephemera, press clippings, and manuscripts that document the country’s Black Power and self-determination movements, and other key events, collected from the living archives of Professor Gary Foley.

Since 2017, this valuable material has been carefully digitised and categorised for an online database with the support of the Australian Research Council. This month saw the collective of universities and organisations meet for their final committee meeting to give a report on the next stages of the collection now that the digitisation is almost complete.

The Final Committee Meeting of the Aboriginal History Archive project

The hope is that the collection will help to give a new lens over the political and Aboriginal history of this country. Distinguished Professor Larissa Behrendt is the CI from UTS through Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education and Research, when chatting with her this week she stated:

The Foley Collection is an extensive archive that speaks to decades of intellectual and political activity, showing our resistance and the assertion of sovereignty. As a resource for scholars, it is invaluable. But just as precious are the many stories of Aboriginal people engaged with key political, social and cultural moments. These histories are not only critical to understanding the battles fought and won in the past but also in understanding the foundations on which the contemporary Aboriginal rights movements is built on today.

Some of the Committee members from left to right: M Nash (National Museum), L Behrendt(UTS), P Clague(UTS) E Howell (Victoria Uni), J Maynard  (Newcastle Uni), N Henningham (Melbourne Uni) G Foley (VU), R Lepper (VU), M Evans (MOAD), J Fenley (VU) J Hawkes (VU), W Peart (VU) and M Hinkson (Deakin Uni)

Jumbunna assisted in producing a video about the collection, which was shown at the meeting. For more information about the collection and options for re-using collection material in derivative works please contact vuir@vu.edu.au.