Oral History is the oldest form of sharing knowledge and culture. Aboriginal people of Australia have been sharing their stories orally for 60,000 years or more. Sadly, if these stories are not shared they will be lost, as the prehistory to this country is not written. Our Oral History Program and Collection helps us to keep the oral histories of South-Eastern Australia alive and ensures that cultural knowledge is preserved for future generations. The program began in 1987 with the intention of preserving culture and knowledge for the Koorie community. Many of these audio and visual recordings share significant stories and links to family members. Our Oral History Collection encompasses an audio and visual collection of over 2000 recordings, predominantly interviews with Koorie people from all over Victoria. Special to our collection are recordings of:
- cultural activities such as basket weaving and canoe making
- historical events
- personal testimonies from community members and Elders
- members of the Stolen Generation
- Victorian mission stories
Some of the recordings in our collection includes:
- Uncle Sandy Atkinson telling a story of the old Murray Cod and other memories of family and his years living on Cummerangunja station.
- Mission Voices, a collaborative online project in partnership with the State Library of Victoria and the ABC.
We are thankful and acknowledge the generous funding support for this program from the Pratt Family Foundation. Our Oral History Program is also made possible through the generous support of the State Government Victoria.