Indigenous history of the University of Melbourne project


This project will examine the relationship between Indigenous Australia and the University of Melbourne from its foundation in 1853 until the present.

The project will contribute towards meeting the University’s Advancing Melbourne and Reconciliation Action Plan commitments with respect to Place through the publication of a contested history of the university.


In November 2019, the University held a research colloquium on Place and Indigenous Cultural Recognition. An outcome of the Colloquium was an acknowledgement that the University’s histories are contested and that we needed to formally acknowledge our institutional and colonial past and our complicity with respect to eugenics and scientific racism.

On this basis and in order to meet our Advancing Melbourne and RAP 3 commitments with respect to Place, the University has commissioned an Indigenous-led research project to properly articulate that contested history.

Watch the video below with a conversation between Inala Cooper, Dr Ross Jones and Dr James Waghorne about this project as part of our 2021 National Reconciliation Week activities.


This project is Indigenous-led with 30 plus contributors from the University of Melbourne.


The University of Melbourne,  Strategy & Culture, Chancellery


  • Dr Ross Jones, The University of Melbourne
  • Dr James Waghorne, The University of Melbourne


Proposed outcomes include a book to be published by Melbourne University Publishing in late 2022.

More information

Dr Ross Jones, Melbourne CSHE, The University of Melbourne