The State Library of Victoria is encouraging Koori researchers to attend an online information session to learn more about two $15,000 fellowships on offer to mob who identify as Indigenous Victorian Aboriginal.

The 2022 fellowships program includes the inaugural Family History Fellowship, along with the Cultural Heritage Research Fellowship, which commenced in 2018. 

Successful fellows will have access to the traditional cultural knowledge held in the library’s collections with the aim of producing research that can be used and shared in the community.

State Library Victoria Koori Librarian, Maxine Briggs said that family history research was uniquely challenging and urgently important for Indigenous people. 

“Separation of Indigenous people from their family and country by colonists was intended to suppress Indigenous knowledge and culture,” Ms Briggs said. 

“In the colonial period Indigenous people were moved between Missions and Protectorates to break their connections with family and country, to prepare them to join the new society, or as a punishment for political activism. 

“We want Indigenous researchers to use resources from that period to recover links to family and rebuild Ancestral knowledge. This research is critically important for our continued survival and wellbeing.”

The information session will be held at 2pm, Tuesday 24 August, via Zoom and will be led by Ms Briggs, who says the library’s not just seeking scholars and tertiary-trained academics but encourages grassroots scholarships as well.

“The library serves the academic community quite well, but it is up to them to adapt, and encourage research, and output from people at a grassroots level.”

The Taungwurrung and Yorta Yorta woman said Aboriginal Victorians currently living in other states or territories are welcome to attend the online information session as well, but if an applicant is successful, they would have to make their way to Victoria to work with the library during their fellowship.

Applications are now open for the 2022 State Library Victoria Fellowships Program and close on at midnight 5 September 2021.

To learn more, visit the State Library of Victoria website.

Picture: State Library Victoria