The richer, deeper bit

Melbourne is home to many Aboriginal art galleries showcasing the diverse cultures and rich history of Australia's First Peoples.

Public galleries

Birrarung Gallery
Gain insight into the lives of Aboriginal peoples in Victoria at Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre's Birrarung Gallery. The gallery's incredible zinc feature piece, Wurreka, by Judy Watson, contains 74 wall panels of etched designs, each reflecting imagery from the Aboriginal heritage and landscapes of Victoria. Get a national view through the diverse collections of 'Many Nations', which features digital labels revealing the story of around 500 artefacts of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander significance.

Koorie Heritage Trust
For an understanding of the artwork and cultural objects in Victoria and south-east Australia, visit the Koorie Heritage Trust at Federation Square, where local Victorian Aboriginal history and art is key. The trust's gallery spans traditional and contemporary works, from carved emu eggs through to photography and ceramics. Its picture collection features around 900 paintings, including those by Melbourne Aboriginal leaders William Barak and Tommy McRae. After checking out the gallery, head to the shop to pick up some handcrafted, locally made gifts.

Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia
Next door to the Koorie Heritage Trust at Federation Square, the Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia displays Indigenous art and cultural artefacts from Australia's regions, from the Torres Strait to Tasmania, and Victoria through to the Kimberley. The Indigenous gallery is categorised into four architecturally designed sections – fire, water, earth and wind – encompassing Dreaming associations and ancestral narratives.

Narana Aboriginal Cultural Centre
Just over an hour from Melbourne in Charlemont, south of Geelong, Narana Aboriginal Cultural Centre houses an art gallery displaying works in traditional, contemporary and abstract forms from both Victorian and national Indigenous artists.

Buying Aboriginal art

To ensure the artwork you're buying is authentic, and ethically produced and sold, visit recommended galleries, and see the Aboriginal Art Directory website and the Indigenous Art Code for questions to consider when purchasing.