Tom points out that Victorian Aboriginal art is different to the dot art familiar to international visitors. He says, 'Traditional designs in Victoria are line based, featuring designs such as diamond shapes.' The traditions of eel farming and possum skin cloak making are also distinctly Victorian.
In fact, modern Victorian Aboriginal art is incredibly diverse and includes contemporary styles like stencil art and installations. Painting and sculpture are common, as is the revival of traditional craft techniques such as shield carving and basket weaving.
To see traditional Aboriginal art alongside more modern contributions, check out the three galleries at the Koorie Heritage Trust. You'll get glimpses of treasures from the collection, artwork by iconic Victorian artists, and new works by emerging young artists.
Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre at Melbourne Museum has a gallery space dedicated to Victorian Aboriginal art, as well as a new innovative permanent exhibition called First Peoples, which tells first hand stories of Victorian Aboriginal people and their living culture.
Tom recommends you stay tuned for the Koori Night Market, a pop-up market featuring art and craft by Indigenous Australians. In summer, keep your eye out for art around the Melbourne city centre as part of the annual Victorian Indigenous Art Award, showcasing works by leading Victorian Aboriginal artists.
Tom's final tip is to cap off your immersion into Victoria's Aboriginal culture with a meal at Charcoal Lane in Gertrude Street, Fitzroy, which serves gourmet meals featuring Indigenous ingredients as well as offering hospitality training to young Indigenous Australians.