The place known as the Former Aboriginal Church of Christ at 258 Gore Street, Fitzroy including the land and the church building (exteriors and interiors).
How is it significant?
The Former Aboriginal Church of Christ is of historical and social significance to the State of Victoria. It satisfies the following criterion for inclusion in the Victorian Heritage Register:
Importance to the course, or pattern, of Victoria's cultural history.
Strong or special association with a particular present-day community or cultural group for social, cultural or spiritual reasons.
Special association with the life or works of a person, or group of persons, of importance in Victoria's history.
Why is it significant?
The Former Aboriginal Church of Christ is significant at the State level for the following reasons:
The Former Aboriginal Church of Christ is historically significant as the Aboriginal Church established by Pastor (later Sir) Douglas Nicholls, footballer, activist, pastor, and governor of South Australia. It played an important role in the emergence of social service organisations and the development of the twentieth century Aboriginal rights movement in Victoria and was a place of worship, community assistance, support and activism. Leaders of the twentieth century Aboriginal rights movement, and many Aboriginal organisations emerged from this place. [Criterion A]
The Former Aboriginal Church of Christ is socially significant and resonates with the Victorian Aboriginal community as a place where families and individuals with shared experiences came together for support and assistance. It has become a symbol of the emergence of the Aboriginal rights movement in the twentieth century. [Criterion G]
The Former Aboriginal Church of Christ is significant for its association with its founder Pastor Sir Douglas Nicholls. Pastor Doug made a strong and influential contribution to the Aboriginal rights movement and social justice for Aboriginal people. Pastor Doug attracted a large congregation and galvanised the Aboriginal community in the fight for human rights. Together with his wife Gladys, he created a place of community and strength from which contemporary Aboriginal services and organisations evolved. [Criterion H]