Aboriginal justice advocate Wayne Muir has been charged with 20 historic sexual assault offences against four women.
The 54-year-old faced the Ballarat Magistrates Court on Friday for a filing hearing and bail application.
Muir, a former head of the University of Ballarat Aboriginal education unit, was granted bail with strict conditions after the magistrate was satisfied he had shown compelling reasons.
Police informant Detective Sergeant Kevin Carson said the charges related to sexual misconduct incidents against four indigenous females from 1979 to 2001.
He said the females were aged from seven to 35 when they were allegedly sexually assaulted in Ballarat, the Black Hill lookout and Muir's Wendouree home.
Detective Sergeant Carson said Muir held a high standard in the community and his arrest would raise awareness.
Muir's defence barrister said her client had known about the sexual assault allegations for some time but had not left the community, other than to visit his daughter overseas.
She said Muir had significant ties to the community and there would be a delay before the matter was finally determined.
The prosecution did not oppose Muir's application for bail.
His bail conditions include reporting to the Ballarat Police Station once a week, to live at his Wendouree address, surrender his passport, not to attend international points of departure and not to contact prosecution witnesses other than the informant.
Muir's wife supported him in court but was not called to give evidence.
Muir was stood down from his position of chief executive of the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service in February amid the sexual assault allegations.
The court was told Muir was currently employed in Melbourne.
He faces 20 charges, including five counts of rape, 11 counts of indecent assault and one count of buggery.
Muir will return to court for a committal mention on October 17.
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