About Us

About Koorie Heritage Trust

The KHT at Federation Square takes Koorie peoples, cultures and communities from the literal and figurative fringes of Melbourne to a place that is a central meeting and gathering place for all Victorians. Our location at Federation Square is a recognition of our shared history and the importance of Koorie peoples as part of a broader 21st century community.

Our vision

To ensure the rich cultural heritage, history and knowledge systems of First Peoples are valued, celebrated and an active part of society.

Our purpose

To nurture, honour and celebrate the continuing cultures and Songlines of the First Peoples of south-eastern Australia.


Our motto groups two Koorie languages (Gunditjmara and Yorta Yorta) and means “Give me your hand my friend”.

The clasped black and white hands in our logo represents Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people joining in goodwill and cooperation. The logo represents the “bridging of the cultural gap” and reflects our belief that through education and promotion, we can raise awareness and appreciation of the cultural diversity of Victorian First Peoples, and work towards the broader goal of reconciliation for all Australians.

Our values and commitment

Courage. Respect. Care. Reciprocity. Integrity. Responsibility.

The KHT is a unique space rich in culture, heritage and history that welcomes and encourages all people to come together in the spirit of learning and reconciliation. It is a safe space for all people to learn about and to help us  nurturing, honouring and celebrating the continuing journey of the First Peoples of south-eastern Australia. As part of this commitment, the KHT recognises and is committed to implementing the Victorian Child Safe Standards to ensure child safety and wellbeing is embedded in all our programs and services.

Our programs and services

We offer 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 a Oral History Program and a Reference Library; a Cultural Experiences Program that include guided walking tours and cultural competency training and programs; an annual exhibitions program with an emphasis on showcasing young and emerging Victorian Peoples art and artists; a Koorie Family History Service; and a retail shop dedicated exclusively to showcasing the uniqueness of Victorian First Peoples art and design. We also have for hire meeting rooms with balcony access and views of the Yarra River and Federation Square.

We are endorsed as a deductible gift recipient and continue to receive generous funding support from bequests, private donors, trusts and foundations, and from government grants and corporate sponsorship.

Visiting us

The KHT is a public space of learning and working, and we ask that you are respectful of our Collections, shop, galleries and education spaces.We ask you to note the following to ensure that you make the most of your visit, and enjoy the various programs and services that we offer:

  • please keep the volume to an appropriate level
  • all children under the age of 15 must be accompanied by an adult over 18 years of age
  • we offer a smoke-free environment, including the forecourt directly in front of our building
  • food and drink are not allowed inside our exhibition spaces except for venue hire and events
  • animals are not allowed in our public spaces except for certified assistance animals
  • please refrain from touching any artworks on display
  • the use of scooters, skateboards and bicycles are not permitted inside the building
  • security cameras operate throughout the building

Filming and photography

You are more than welcome to use your camera throughout the KHT to film or take photographs for personal use. However, to respect and protect the artist’s moral rights, if reproducing on your various social media platforms, please credit them in your post.

Filming and photography for non-personal use is prohibited for cultural, moral and copyright reasons, particularly if being used for a commercial purpose.

Flash photography of artworks is also prohibited as continued flash exposure over time can lead to irreversible light damage to an artwork.

If you wish to film or take photographs of artworks for purposes other than for personal use, please email us to discuss.


The term Koorie is commonly used to describe the First Peoples of south-eastern Australia; however, the terms First Peoples, First Nations, Aboriginal and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are also used interchangeably. We recognise the diversity of the First Peoples living throughout Victoria, including Koories and other First Peoples from around Australia.

The term Koorie/Koori/Gurri is a generic term used by contemporary First Peoples of Victoria and Southern New South Wales to identify and differentiate themselves from First Peoples groups from other parts of Australia. First Peoples and communities in Queensland refer to themselves as Murris, Nunga in South Australia and Nyoongar in southern Western Australia.

Narrm is the traditional Woiwurrung (Woi Wurrung) name for the Melbourne region, in the language of the Wurundjeri peoples, the traditional custodians of the land on which the city is built and where the KHT is located. In recognition of this, we use the word Narrm except where the word ‘Melbourne’ is used in the context of the name of an organisation, event or place (e.g., the Melbourne Museum, City of Melbourne, Melbourne Arts Precinct Corporation etc.).

Spelt as either Neirm/Nairm/Narrm, it is also the Boonwurrung (Boon Wurrung) word for Port Phillip Bay which lies at the centre of the Boonwurrung, Wurundjeri and Wathaurung Country. The Kulin Nation is an alliance of five tribes whose territories extend around Neirm to encompass the Wurundjeri, Boonwurrung and Wathaurung peoples. The Kulin Nation also extends inland to include the Dja Dja Wurrung and the Taungurung peoples.

While the work we do acknowledges the pre-settlement boundaries of the traditional lands of south-eastern Australia, which cross post-settlement state lines and extend into New South Wales, South Australia and Tasmania, the focus of our work is primarily with the First Peoples Communities of Victoria.

Strategic Goals and Reports

We are an Aboriginal not for profit Incorporated Association.


Learn more about how we came to be.

News & updates

  • Second Skin: Essence of Country

  • First Nations Arts and Culture Centre