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VAHS Victorian Aboriginal Health Service

As part of our annual festival, in 2023 we are humbled and thrilled to play a small part in the 50th-year celebrations for the Victorian Aboriginal Health Services. For the duration of the festival, the significant local site Charcoal Lane will be open for the public with a digital poster installation alongside a soundscape that features a poem read by Joanne Dwyer (Gunditjmara) with ambient sounds by one of GSPF 23 artists Tahlia Plamer (Murri and European heritage). We have worked closely with the team at VAHS led by Vanessa Morris (Yorta Yorta, Dja Dja Wurrung, Wiradjuri) to bring attention to the art of paste-ups as a way to share messages in public spaces. This digital poster project celebrates the VAHS community and history as part of GSPF 23. 

Opening times: 12 - 3 PM Monday to Friday

136 Gertrude St, Fitzroy

Artwork Description


This collage represents the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service community in the present – to reflect on the past and to build our future – in celebration of 50 years of caring for community. Colours used throughout the piece connect with the Aboriginal flag – black, yellow, red – which accompanies the collage. Presented at 136 Gertrude Street, which has become known as Charcoal Lane, a place where VAHS was based during the 70s, 80s and early 90s. During that time, this building naturally became a true community centre, where people would visit not only for access to VAHS services but a place to connect with the community. 

About the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service celebrating 50 years

This year the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service (VAHS) celebrates 50 years of caring for community since establishing in 1973 – to respect our past, honour our present, to build our future. Since starting on Gertrude Street in Fitzroy by Community members, VAHS has been instrumental in leading the development of Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations across the state and nation. As the oldest Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation in Victoria, and second in the country, VAHS has been embedded and connected to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community for five decades.

Collage Artist Bio


Vanessa Morris is a proud Yorta Yorta, Dja Dja Wurrung, Wiradjuri woman who grew up on Yorta Yorta country and resides on Wurundjeri county. She works at VAHS and is also a volunteer radio broadcaster at Triple R, presenting First Nations music, arts and culture show Banksia.


Special thank you to Rali Beynon for support on Animation.


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