Fitzroy, an inner city suburb of Melbourne, holds a special place in the hearts if all Victorian mob.

Located on Wurundjeri country, Fitzroy (the traditional name is Ngár-go) was an important meeting ground for many mob across the state. From the 1920’s the Aboriginal community of the area bean to steadily increase due to the closing down of missions like Coranderrk and Cummeragunja with mob such as Uncle William Cooper (Yorta Yorta), Aunty Martha Nevin (Wurundjeri) and Aunty Margaret Tucker (Wiradjuri/Yorta Yorta) moving in to the area.  

By the 1950’s it supported a community of over 300 mob as well as the many mob living in the surrounding suburbs.

Fitzroy was the first home of many of our community organisations and quickly became a social and political hub for our mob!

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Street art in Fitzroy. Image Sources: NITV & ABC.


Atherton Gardens

The Atherton Gardens was a major meeting place for mob from all over and was especially important for our mob who were homeless. They would gather in the gardens, play music and share stories, some were even lucky enough to find family connections here.

It is also the home of the Stolen Generations Marker. ‘Remember Me’ by Reko Rennie (Kamilaroi/Gamilaroi), was commissioned by the Yarra City Council with the support of the Victorian Government and is a tribute to those of the Stolen Generation and to honour their struggles and their resilience. 


Fitzroy Aboriginal Heritage Walking Trail

The Fitzroy Aboriginal Heritage Walking Trail takes you through the streets of Fitzroy to 16 different sites that are important to Victorian mob and the Fitzroy community including the Carlton Gardens, the Koori Club and the Aboriginal Housing Board of Victoria. Each site has a bronze plaque with a little bit of the history of the site written on it.

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Wurundjeri Elder Uncle Colin Hunter welcomes the crowd at the launch of the Stolen Generations Marker.


Organisations & Important Sites

Many organisations that continue to service community today began in the streets of Fitzroy. The Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service (VALS), which was officially established in 1973 used to be located on 11 Brunswick Street and the Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency (VACCA) was established in 1976 and used to be located on 5 Brunswick Street!

You can read more about the establishment of the many community organisations on our history timeline and you can see the locations of many of these organisations on the Fitzroy Aboriginal Heritage Walking Trail.

Other sites of importance includ the Koori Club, the Builders Arms Hotel and the Church of Christ on Gore St.

The Koori Club, established by Uncle Lin Onus, was located on 43 Gertrude Street and was a social and political meeting place for young mob during the 1960’s. Much of the activism of the time was inspired by the Black Power movement in America and in that nature the club took on an ‘Aboriginal only’ policy. The club had a large impact on the activism and politics of our mob.

The Builders Arms Hotel became known as the Black Pub of Melbourne and it was an important gathering place for mob from the 1940s until the 1980s. Mob who weren’t as keen on the church services would regularly meet up to have a drink, establish connections and just have a yarn. It was at this pub and others similar that mob formed strong connections to the other residents of Fitzroy, including the immigrant communities.

In 1943 Pastor Doug Nicholls with his wife Aunty Gladys Nicholls and the support of their Church established a church service for mob at the church on Gore St. Pastor Doug Nicholls remained Pastor until 1970. The church attracted mob as well as many international guests and acted as its own hub for mob to connect with each other.

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Memories from the Aboriginal Fitzroy Community. Image source: Aboriginal History of Yarra.



Yalinguth, meaning ‘yesterday’ in the Woiwurrung language, is an app that ‘uses geo-located stories and sounds to take you on a journey through time’.

It is an audio based app that connects with your phones location to tell you the stories of the area you are in as you walk through Fitzroy. The stories are told by elders such as Uncle Jack Charles and Aunty Denise McGuinness.


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website may contain images, voices or names of deceased persons in photographs, film, audio recordings or printed material. To listen to our Acknowledgement of Country, click here.