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The social and cultural legacies of colonial Christian missions are of course multiple and diverse. This article focuses on just one of those possible legacies, a legacy that could be produced through localized mission engagements and that is particular to contemporary polities that were founded as British settler colonies: the opportunity for Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples to pursue ways to live together justly despite persistent pressures to see their interests as inevitably opposed. The discussion explores this legacy in relation to the efforts of Koori peoples from the mid-nineteenth century to secure an ethical basis for relations between Aboriginal people and the state in the wake of dispossession in colonial Victoria, Australia, and introduces an innovative research collaboration that seeks to reactivate this productive legacy in the present. With reference to settler-colonial theory, consideration is given to the broader material and ideological forces at play, as well as to the particular experiences and responses of groups and individuals caught up in the complex circumstances that unfold wherever people are living with settler colonialism. The article raises questions about how and why historians and other scholars might wish to pursue opportunities to work outside conventional modes of academic engagement in the places where we live and work.