Small in stature maybe but she had the heart and courage of a lion – Troy Austin, CEO, Melbourne Aboriginal Youth Sport and Recreation (MAYSAR).

Norma Gleeson was passionate about Aboriginal rights and worked tirelessly for the Koorie community through many roles over her career including Aboriginal Affairs from 1976 to 1996.

Norma had a particularly strong connection with the Koorie Heritage Trust, actively supporting the development of the Koorie Heritage Trust in the 1980s and continuing to be a loyal member of the Trust for many years. When Norma passed away in February 2011, her sister Judith and niece Sala provided funds to establish the Norma Gleeson Bequest.

Norma appeared to be a stern Government worker who many considered to be a tough taskmaster. In reality Norma was a kind, compassionate advocate for our community and I often witnessed her resolve to achieve a positive outcome for local organisations/communities that she was working with – Troy Austin, CEO, MAYSAR.

Norma Gleeson Bequest Project Reports

The Koorie Heritage Trust is the sole beneficiary of the Norma Gleeson Bequest. The Bequest provides annual support to our collection based projects to enhance and increase access to our Collection.

  • 2013 Lisa Bellear Photographic Collection – Rehousing, Registration and Cataloguing
  • 2014 Collections and Public Programming Support
  • 2015 Maree Clarke Exhibition Support


Norma was a passionate advocate of Aboriginal rights and many can attest to the work she did to assist organisations in achieving their aims – David Kidney, former work colleague.

I will be forever grateful to Norma for her strong support, expert advice and caring nature, she was a very special person who left lasting memories for myself and many others – Bev Murray, Former CEO, Aboriginal Housing Board of Victoria.