Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Wurundjeri Woi-Wurrung histories in early colonial Melbourne: Country, Ancestors, and the management of newcomers 

February 21, 2023 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

$10 – $20

This lecture is the 2nd RHSV Indigenous History Lecture which forms part of  our annual Distinguished Lecturer Series.

This lecture explores Wurundjeri Woi-Wurrung histories of the early period of the invasion of their Country. In this lecture, Rachel – a non-Indigenous historian – and Karen – a Wurundjeri Elder and Traditional Owner-historian – outline how we came to work together and the development of our collaborative research relationship as an example of new directions in Indigenous history.

In our work together, we focus on extracting material from the archive that uncovers the lives of Wurundjeri Woi-Wurrung ancestors, their defence of their Country, and their custodianship of culture as they manage the invasion of their land. In our lecture, we will outline important examples from our research that illustrate Wurundjeri responses to the invasion and efforts to protect Country and culture. We will also discuss the value of this knowledge for contemporary Wurundjeri Woi-Wurrung people.

Rachel Standfield is a non-Indigenous historian of colonialism and race relations histories in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific, working in the Indigenous Studies Program at the University of Melbourne. Her research focuses on colonial histories, histories of Indigenous agency to protect Country and culture, and Indigenous mobilities between Aotearoa me Te Wai Pounamu/New Zealand, the Pacific, and Australia. She works with Indigenous peoples in Australia and New Zealand, including Wurundjeri Woi-Wurrung Elders in the Melbourne region and Kāi Tahu people from southern New Zealand.

Wurundjeri Woi-Wurrung Elder Karen Jones is a member of the Board of Wurundjeri Woi-Wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation and a member of the Corporation’s research team. As a Traditional Owner historian and knowledge holder, she undertakes research with colonial documents to support the contemporary aspirations of Wurundjeri people. She has expertise developed over more than a decade in understanding and analysing the archive related to her ancestors and Country.


Image caption:

William Thomas, pictorial material, Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales, PXA 1321/no. 1, Sketch of Aboriginal ceremony


February 21, 2023
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
$10 – $20
Event Categories:


Royal Historical Society of Victoria
03 9326 9288


RHSV Gallery Downstairs
239 A'Beckett St
Melbourne, Victoria 3000 Australia
+ Google Map
03 9326 9288