Victoria University’s leading-edge Aboriginal History Archive (AHA), which documents almost a century of history of Aboriginal activism, has received a $15,000 local history grant from the state government.

Built around the collection amassed by VU Professor Gary Foley through his 50-year career as an activist, performer, historian and teacher, the AHA contains more than 400,000 objects, including news clippings, essays, journals and posters.

Professor Foley said he started the collection more than 15 years ago, when he realised there were few primary documents in mainstream collecting institutions detailing the self-determination struggles of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

He received an Australian Research Council grant in 2019 to catalogue, index, digitise, and create an educational resource for his collection.

The AHA will partner with Aboriginal community organisation Dardi Munwurro to

record community stories relating to the AHA’s extensive collection of photos of Victoria’s Aboriginal community.

The Victorian Aboriginal Health Service, on a project to digitise videos, and First-Nations theatre company, Ilbijerri, on a pre-archiving assessment project, have also been successful in their applications under the same grant scheme.

The archive is Victoria University’s Aboriginal research centrepiece, conducted within the Moondani Balluk Indigenous Academic Unit.