Aboriginal Housing Victoria Dandenong


Aboriginal Housing Victoria (AHV) Dandenong redefines social housing through a profound respect for cultural heritage and community connection. Led by Aboriginal Housing Victoria (AHV), Yorta Yorta Senior Architect James Gilliland from ClarkeHopkinsClarke (CHC), and First Nations Landscape Designer Charles Solomon, the project transforms a 996-square-metre site into 10 meticulously crafted apartments for First Peoples. Driven by AHV’s vision ‘Every Aboriginal Person has a Home’, it creates essential housing for diverse tenants including singles, couples and small families who don’t qualify for larger family homes.

Inspired by the Ngaruk Willam clan of the Boon Wurrung people, the design is a deliberately simple and literal representation of their culture and connection to Country, paying homage to traditional housing typologies and materiality. At the heart of the project is a community courtyard that integrates native vegetation and medicinal plants, fostering a dialogue between the built environment and the surrounding landscape.

A thorough engagement process was central to the project’s success, ensuring voices of First Nations people shaped every aspect of the design. From external screen modifications to colour palette adjustments, feedback has been instrumental in creating a culturally safe space where tenants previously at-risk or homeless can thrive and find sanctuary and belonging.


Lighting: Efficient Lighting Systems, Inlite. Finishes: Dulux, Forbo, Covet, Austral Plywoods, Instyle, Lamitak, Caesarstone, Laminex, Baresque, Market Timbers, Locker Group, Deco Batten, Bluescope. Fittings & Fixtures: Caroma, Par Taps, Fisher & Paykel.


Photography: Dianna Snape