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‘We share a dark history – but it’s moments like this, when we come together as one, united by our desire to do better, to be better and to right the wrongs of the past, that we start to heal spiritual wounds and the intergenerational trauma that still exists today.’  

Mr Mangubadijarri Yanner, Chairperson of the Gangalidda Garawa Native Title Aboriginal Corporation. 

Gangalidda and Garawa return

Number of objects Return destination Institution Dates

12 items

Mounigibi/Burketown. QLD Manchester Museum, the University of Manchester, UK

Request submitted: 
30 October 2019

Official handover: 
22 November 2019

Manchester Museum

In late 2019, AIATSIS led a delegation, including a Gangalidda and a Garawa representative, to Manchester Museum, UK. On 22 November a formal handover of Gangalidda and Nyamal cultural heritage material occurred at Australia House in London. 

Gangalidda Garawa traditional owner Mangubadijarri Yanner and Manchester Museum Director Esme Ward at a handover ceremony at Australia House, London in 2019. Photo: D Walding, AIATSIS.

Mangubadjarri Yanner and Donald Bob in the Manchester Museum store room with Gangalidda material. Photo: A Turner, AIATSIS.

‘[I]…felt cold because it was the person of that thing, that spirit” [speaking to him] “crying for his home… our lore, our histories, our traditions, our livelihood and our stories” [are in those objects].’ 

Mr Donald Bob, Senior Garawa man.

Gangalidda Garawa people and members of the RoCH team celebrating the return of cultural heritage material. Photo: D Walding, AIATSIS.

AIATSIS facilitated the direct return of materials to Country, and celebrations occurred with Gangalidda and Garawa at Moungibi (Burketown). 

‘The repatriation of our sacred cultural heritage items is a fundamental part of the healing and reconciliation process, both within our communities and between our mob and the government.’  

Mr Mangubadijarri Yanner, Chairperson of the Gangalidda Garawa Native Title Aboriginal Corporation.  

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Last updated: 01 July 2024