AIATSIS Collections

AIATSIS Collections is proud to hold the film Story About Feeling.  The ceremony performed on 25 March is the first time a collection has been handed to AIATSIS Collections for safe keeping in this way. It will become part of an important body of material about Bill Neidjie and Kakadu National Park, with many of these items listed on this website.

Primary Source Collections Held at AIATSIS

The following is a select list of primary source materials on Bill Neidjie and Kakadu National Park held in the AIATSIS Collections.

Kevin Lucas, Producer/Director (Story About Feeling)

“His funeral rites, reserved only for elders of high-degree, were spread over three years (2002-2005). They’re based on practices dating back many thousands of years. Before Bill’s bone ceremony [Lorrkkon ] they had not been conducted in the Kakadu region for many decades and in all likelihood will never be repeated again. As Big Bill knew that with his passing, knowledge, custom, language and stories would die with him. This is why he wanted it to be carried forward in the minds of many people; Indigenous and non-Indigenous, through stories; like Story About Feeling. That his funeral rites were done in the proper way has helped keep his spirit alive in his country. That he wanted this to be filmed and shared, against custom, reveals how significant the losses meant to him and he has given all of us a beautiful gift that marks the end of an era in our history, but one, through his vision, that can now live in our hearts and minds forever. We should not forget.”


Accession no.: FC00474_1-15

Title: Cannon Hill Project, created by Kim McKenzie and Stephen Wild

Canberra : AIAS Film Unit, 1982

Collection no.: AIATSIS_020 (FC00474_1-15)

Physical descrip: 4 film reels (approximately 30 min. each, approximately 3,500 feet) : sound, colour; 16 mm film, on 15 in. reel

Access: Conditions apply

Credits: Camera, Kim McKenzie; sound, Wayne Barker and Stephen Wild

Performer: Bill Neidjie; Felix Holmes

Date/Place: Filmed in Cannon Hill, N.T., 1982

Filming of the painting and rock art at Indjuwandjuwa in Kakadu National Park. Footage includes contextual filming of rock art and sites in the area, including the following sites: 'The Cave', 'The Over-hang' and 'Main site'. Stephen Wild also recorded the Murdak (Mudak) song series sung by Felix Holmes.

Place: Cannon Hill (Kakadu, NT SD53-01)

Language/Group: Gaagudju / Gagadju / Gagadyu people (N50) (NT SD53-01)

Collection: Moving Image Collection


Accession no.: NEIDJIE_B01

Title: Hunting sequence

Prod/Pub/Copyright: 1983

Collection no.: NEIDJIE_B01 (V00296)

Collector: Taylor, Keith

Physical descrip: 1 videocassette (21 min.) : sound, colour; .* in.

Access: Conditions apply

Performer: Bill Neidjie

Date/Place: Filmed in Kakadu, N.T., 1983

Field recording of National Park Ranger Bill Neidjie who talks about Dreaming stories and legends of the Kakadu Park area.

Collection: Moving Image Collection

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Deposit no.: HARRIS.S02.CS (000040210-000040239)

Collector: Harris, Stewart, 1922-1994;

Title: A meeting with the Northern Land Council in the Alligator River region, N.T.

Physical description: 30 slides : colour; 35 mm.

Photographs taken during a meeting with the Northern Land Council in 1978. Subjects include: portraits; meeting in session; traditional owners; children playing; Mount Brockman; camp kitchen

Date/Place taken: Alligator River, N.T., 1978

Place of origin: Mudginberri (Kakadu, NT SD53-01)

Place of origin: Mount Brockman (Nourlangie, Kakadu, NT SD53-01)

Personal subject: Alderson family

Personal subject: Bishaw, Alex

Personal subject: Chaloupka, George, 1932-2011

Personal subject: Coombs, H. C. (Herbert Cole), 1906-1997

Personal subject: Yangali, Toby

Personal subject: McGill, Stuart C.

Personal subject: Yunupingu, Galarrwuy, 1948-

Personal subject: Neidjie, Bill, 1913-2002

Personal subject: Nyangal, Jacob

Access: Open access

Collection: Pictorial Collection

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Archive Nos.: 018567 - 018585

Collection No.: TAYLOR_K01

Collector: Taylor, Keith

Title: Interviews with Big Bill Neidjie

Duration: 8 hours 52 minutes

Access: Conditions apply

Interviews recorded by Keith Taylor with Bill Neidjie, which formed the background to the book 'Story About Feeling' published in 1989

Documentation: Transcripts; correspondence

Physical description: Digital access copies, copied from digital preservation masters, 018567 - 018585. 19 sound files (ca. 30 min. each) : digital, stereo, 44 kHz, 128 kb/sec, mp3.

Place of origin: Cannon Hill (Kakadu, NT SD53-01)

Collection: Sound Collection

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Records of the Social Impact of Uranium Mining Project  1978-1985

50 boxes

Papers, correspondence and reports on the monitoring  of the social impact of uranium mining on Aborigines  in the Northern Territory, a project carried out by  the Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies. Includes the transcript of the Ranger Uranium Environmental Inquiry

Read the Finding Aid for a detailed description of contents and access conditions at

AIATSIS Call number: MS 4008


Ranger Uranium Environmental Inquiry Transcript of Proceedings at Darwin 22-25 February 1977

[Melbourne] 1977

Evidence including traditional territory, sacred sites and conflicting claims to land; see also full transcript at MFE B54 below

AIATSIS Call number: MS 38


Ranger Uranium Environmental Inquiry Transcript of proceedings from 9 Sept. 1975 to 22

March 1977 : Presiding Commissioner Mr. Justice Fox

Physical descrip: 175 sheets (13, 525 p.); Microfiche

General Note: Pages for 10/11 Sept., 1975, misnumbered; Includes;

List of witnesses; Contents; (1) Sydney, Mudginberri, Gove and Darwin proceedings, Sept. 1975; (2) Darwin and Sydney proceedings, Oct. 1975; (3) Sydney proceedings, Nov. 1975; (4) Brisbane proceedings, Dec. 1975; (5) Sydney proceedings, Jan. 1976; (6) Sydney proceedings, Feb. 1976; (7) Adelaide proceedings, Mar. 1976; (8) Melbourne proceedings, April 1976; (9) Melbourne proceedings, May 1976; (10) Darwin proceedings, June 1976; (11) Sydney proceedings, July 1976; Complete list of witnesses and schedule of hearings; (12) Sydney proceedings, Aug. 1976; (13) Sydney proceedings, Dec. 1976; (14) Darwin proceedings, Feb. 1977; (15) Sydney proceedings, March 1977; (16) Lists of witnesses and Index

Added Author: Fox, R. W. (Russell Walter), 1920-

AIATSIS call number: MFE B54


Ranger Uranium Environmental Inquiry  Submissions, 1976

6 microfiche

General Note: Contents; (1) Ranger Uranium Mines Pty Ltd; Final submission; (2) Australian Conservation Foundation; Submission; (3) Australian Atomic Energy Commission; Final submission; (4) Australian Atomic Energy Commission; Comments on final submissions of Australian Conservation Foundation, Conservation Council of South Australia Inc. [and] Friends of the Earth; (5) Northern Pastoral Services Ltd; Submission; (6) Conservation Council of South Australia Incorporated; Concluding submission; (7) Pancontinental Mining Limited; Final submission; (8) Friends of the Earth; Final submission; (9) List of submitting bodies and date of submissions

AIATSIS call number: MFE B55


Office of the Aboriginal Land Commissioner. Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976

re Alligator Rivers stage II land claim : transcript of proceedings before Justice Toohey, Aboriginal Land


Canberra : Commonwealth Reporting Service, 1980-81

Hearings held in the Northern Territory between 24 October 1980 and 27 March 1981.

Contents Note: Vol. 1 : Index -- Final address 23 Mar. 1981 -- insertion schedule for resumption of hearings -- Darwin : 24 Oct., 24 Nov., 27 Nov., Djarrdjarr : 1 Dec., Cannon Hill : 2 Dec., 3 Dec. 1980 -- v. 2 : Cannon Hill : 4 Dec., 5 Dec., 8 Dec., 9 Dec., 10 De c. 1980 -- v. 3 : Cannon Hill : 11 Dec., 12 Dec.,

Djarrdjarr : 14 Dec., Cannon Hill : 15 Dec., Cahill's Crossing : 16 Dec. 1980 -- v 4 : Djarrdjarr : 17 Dec.,

18 Dec. 1980., Darwin : 2 Feb., 3 Feb. 1981 -- v. 5 : Darwin : 4 Feb., 5 Feb., 6 Feb. 1981 --  v. 6 : Darwin : 9 Feb., 10 Feb., 11 Feb., 12 Feb. 1981 -- v. 7 : Darwin : 13 Feb., 16 Feb., 17 Feb., 18 Feb., 20 Feb. 1981 -- v. 8 : Darwin : 9 Mar., 10 Mar., 12 Mar., 23 Mar. 1981 -- v. 9 : Darwin : 25 Mar., 26 Mar., 27 Mar. 1981

AIATSIS call number: SF 26.7/7


Jon Altman Research Material, Manuscript contains information on mining in the Kakadu area, tourism at Kakadu National Park and the Resource Assessment Commission, Kakadu Conservation Zone Inquiry

AIATSIS call number: MS 4721

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Further reading

Books by Bill Neidjie

Australia’s Kakadu Man : Bill Neidjie

By  Big Bill Neidjie, Stephen Davis, Allan Fox

Darwin : Resource Managers, 1986 (revised edition)

Narrative by traditional Gagudju owner, Kakadu National Park/Alligator Rivers region on Dreaming

mythology; traditional law, relationship to the environment, death with photographic essays,

biographical information, notes on the Dreaming

ISBN: 0 9589458 0 2

AIATSIS call number: B N397.32/K2


Story about Feeling

By Bill Neidjie ; edited by Keith Taylor

Broome, W.A. : Magabala Books, 1989

Stories about the land, emotions, the natural

environment, effect of mining, mythology, Dreaming and

traditional life/law

ISBN: 0958810109

AIATSIS call number: B N397.32/S1

Review / buy online


Amurdak inyman : six stories in Amurdak

Told by Bill Neidjie and Nelson Mulurinj ; compiled by Robert Mailhammer and Robert Handelsmann.

Darwin, N.T. : Iwaidja Inyman, 2009.

Book and audio CD in Amurdak, an Indigenous Australian language traditionally spoken in the stone country northwest of Oenpelli in Arnhem Land, Northern Territory – told by Bill Neidjie and Nelson Mulrunji; Iwaidja version of the same stories told by Charlie Mangulda

ISBN: 9780977522569 (pbk.)

ISBN: 9780977522576 (CDROM)

AIATSIS call number: L KIT A386.083/1


Old Man’s Story: the last thoughts of Kakadu Elder Bill Neidjie

By Bill Neidjie and Mark Lang, photographed by Mark Lang, [Blurb, 2014]

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Stories for children

My Home in Kakadu

By Jane Christophersen; illustrated by Christine Christophersen

Broome, W. A.  : Magabala Books, 2005

Life in Kakadu National Park as seen through the eyes of a young girl as she gathers bush tucker and goes fishing and hunting with her family; the significance of the changing seasons to those who live in Kakadu; list of names for the six seasons of Kakadu; Murrumburr clan; Bunitj clan

Audience: For children aged 5-7 years.

ISBN: 1875641939

AIATSIS call number: p CHR

Review / buy online


Kakadu Calling : Stories for Kids

By Jane Garlil Christophersen; illustrated by Christine Christophersen

Broome, W. A. : Magabala Books, 2007

A collection of stories for children; narrated by an elder of the Bunitj clan in Kakadu National Park; focus on daily life in the bush; themes of respect and the importance of families and the environment

Audience: For primary school children.

ISBN: 9781921248009

AIATSIS call number: B C556.49/K1

Review / buy online at


Sharing Culture Kakadu

Written by Stanley Breeden ; photographs by Belinda Wright.

Archerfield, Qld. : Steve Parish Pub. , c2001.

Introduces the people and cultures and environment of Kakadu – seasons, bush foods,  wildlife, rock art, stories from the Dreaming, material culture, land, floodplain.

ISBN: 1876282681

AIATSIS call number: B B832.24/S2


Growing up in Kakadu, Australia

story by Stan Breeden ; pictures by Belinda Wright

Archerfield, Qld. : Steve Parish Publishing, 2000

The culture and traditions of Indigenous Australian peoples of Kakadu are passed on to younger generations

Audience: For children.

Personal Author: Breeden, Stanley, 1938-

ISBN: 1740210484

AIATSIS call number: B B832.24/G1


Walking with the Seasons in Kakadu by Diane Lucas, Ken Searle.

Crows Nest, N.S.W. : Allen & Unwin, 2003.

Annotation: Detailed information about the six seasons at the Gundjeihmi-speaking people's land at Kakadu, Northern Territory; appealing illustrations for each season; describes indicators for events such as when the kapok fruits pop it is a sign that freshwater crocodiles' eggs are hatching

Audience: For children.

Personal Author: Lucas, Diane Elizabeth, 1954-

ISBN: 1865088676

AIATSIS call number: B L933.43/W1

Review / buy online

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AIATSIS call number: RB H342.12/G1

Harvey, Mark David, 1958-

A grammar of Gaagudju / Mark Harvey.

Publication info: Berlin ; New York : Mouton de Gruyter, 2002.

A comprehensive grammar which includes a contact history of Gaagudju speakers, and information about the language owners and heighbouring languages

Mourning ceremonies – Sorry Business

Mourning ceremonies are an integral and important part of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander life and take many forms around Australia and the Torres Strait. "Sorry business" is the term which covers the period of mourning and the "cultural practices ad protocols associated with death".

See "Sorry Business" on the SNAICC website where the important aspects of Sorry /business are outlined for carers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.

You can read more about mourning ceremonies in the following books.



"When someone dies special rituals are performed to express grief and to ensure that the  spirit of the deceased makes its way back to the ancestral world".

Mourning in Horton, David, (General Editor), Encyclopaedia of Aboriginal Australia, Canberra, Aboriginal Studies Press, 1994, p. 724

AIATSIS Call Number: REF 030.9940049915 ENC


"… delayed mortuary rites are really preoccupied with creating, or re-creating, life out of physical death."

Chapters Death and the Afterlife and Transition in Berndt, Ronald M. and Catherine H., The World of the First Australians: Aboriginal Traditional Life: Past and Present, Canberra, Aboriginal Studies Press, 198, p. 489

AIATSIS Call Number: B524.88/W1 1988


Big Bill's Wake 2001

Big Bill Neidjie was unique in organising his own wake before he died.  This film clip shows families arriving at the ceremony.

Message Stick - Bill's Wake Video


Memorial Ceremony 2002

When Bill Neidjie died in  2002 a memorial service was held for him near Cannon Hill where he lived for the last years of his life.  His good friend, George Chaloupka, described Mr Neidji as the "soul of reconciliation".

Media Release - Passing of Kakadu Elder Big Bill Neidjie

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Creation of Kakadu National Park and World Heritage Listing

Beyond Cultural Sites

By George Chaloupka in "Visitors to Aboriginal sites; access, control and management; proceedings of the 1983 Kakadu Workshop", edited by H. Sullivan, Canberra,  Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service , 1984, p. 62- 73

History of Woolwonga Aboriginal Reserve, Kakadu National Park and its philosophy of management; Fox

and Woodward Commissions; issues in interpreting sites; call for development of a Cultural Centre in the region

AIATSIS call number: B S949.71/V1


Visitors to Sites : A Traditional Owner’s Perspective

By Bill Neidjie in "Sullivan, H. -- Visitors to Aboriginal Site4s: Access, Control and Management, Proceedings of the 1983 Kakadu
Workshop, edited by H. Sullivan", Canberra; Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service , 1984; p. 41-2

Bill Neidjie discusses ways he would like Europeans to be educated about Ubirr and comments on visitors to his country

AIATSIS call number: B S949.71/V1


Kakadu : the making of a National Park

by David Lawrence

Publication info: Carlton, Vic. : Melbourne University Press, 2000

AIATSIS call number: B L419.64/K1


Welcome to the Aboriginal lands of Kakadu National Park : visitor guide and maps

Publication info: [Darwin, N.T.] : Environment Australia, [2003?]

AIATSIS call number: p AUS


Kakadu : a World Heritage of Unsurpassed Beauty by  Derrick Ovington

Publication info: Canberra : ustralian Government Publishing Service, 1986

Physical descrip: ix, 116 p. : ol. ill., map ; 31 cm.

Added Author: Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service

AIATSIS call number: B O965.56/A1

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Alligator Rivers stage II land claim : report by the Aboriginal Land Commissioner, Mr. Justice Toohey to the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and to the Administrator of the Northern Territory by Office of the Aboriginal Land Commissioner.

Edition: 2nd ed.

Canberra: Australian Govt. Pub. Service , 1981

Findings and recommendations on traditional owners of the areas claimed; Claims by clan members from Kakudju, Kundjeymi, Erre, Limilngan or Minidja, Konbudj, Ngombur, Bukurnidja, Maung and Mengerradji language groups considered along with information as to religious and economic attachment to land; consideration of advantage and detriment to affected

groups, including mining companies; the role of Kakadu National Park

AIATSIS call number: B A927.36/A3


Kakadu people

By Baldwin Spencer ; compiled, edited and published by David M. Welch.

Edition: 1st ed.

Publication info: Virginia, N.T. : David M. Welch, 2008.

Physical descrip: xiv, 272 p. : ill. (some col.), maps, ports ; 18 x 24 cm.

Series: (Australian Aboriginal culture series ; no. 3)

Bibliography note: Bibliography: p. 271-272

Text derived from 'Wanderings in Wild Australia' by Sir Baldwin Spencer

ISBN: 9780977503537 (pbk.)

AIATSIS call number: B S746.33/K1


Kakadu : looking after the country - the Gagudju way

By Stanley Breeden and Belinda Wright

Brookvale, N.S.W.:Simon & Schuster , 1989

Gagudju seasonality, social structure and mythology; imaginative reconstruction of the

traditional life of the Badmardi clan, describes annual movement from escarpment to the floodplains,

(includes Djuwarr, Gummungkuwuy, Burrungguy, Anbangbang, Nawulandja, Yuwenjgayay, Malangangerr and Ubirr), material culture, hunting (kangaroo, goose, flying fox and crocodile), gathering, camp life, food preparation, stone working and blade manufacture, fighting, rock painting, exchange and fire use; lives of contemporary Gadudju, includes Bluey Ilkirr preparing and painting bark and Felix Iyanuk, Big Bill Neidjie and Nipper Kaparegi's traditional beliefs and custodial activities; contact history and the establishment of Kakadu National Park

AIATSIS call number: B B832.24/K1


Australian Geographic  Kakadu & Arnhem Land [cartographic material]

map editor Will Pringle ; text Susan Paget, Ian Connellan.

Terrey Hills, N.S.W. : Australian Geographic, 2006, c2005

Physical descrip: 1 map.  See also DVD at 919.4295 WIL DVD "Supplement to issue 82, April-June 2006"

Inset maps of Darwin, Ubirr, Nourlangie Rock.

Annotated map of Arnhem Land; brief mention of Garma Festival, art, yidaki, world heritage status, bush tucker, language and place names, sites

AIATSIS call number: p AUS


Australia's World Heritage

By Environment Australia.

Publication info: Canberra : World Heritage Branch, Dept. of the Environment and Heritage, c1999.

Physical descrip: ix, 77 p. : col. ill., map, port. ; 30 cm.

AIATSIS call number: B A941.17/A1


Conservation and management of prehistoric rock art sites on the World Heritage List

By Nicholas Stanley-Price in "Conservation and Management of Archaeological Sites", Vol.4, 2000, p.[47]-58

AIATSIS Call No: S56/31


Kakadu  National Park World Heritage Area : travel guide

[Darwin, N.T.] : Tourism NT, [200-]

Physical descrip: 1 printed sheet with illustrations and map ; 59 x 84 cm folded to 21 x 30 cm.

AIATSIS call number: p TOU

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Mining in Kakadu

The facts of Jabiluka

By Gundjehmi Aboriginal Corporation

in 'Journal of Australian Indigenous Issues' Vol. 1, No. 1 (April 1998), p. 35-38

Outlines the Mirrar people's concerns about uranium mining at Jabiluka; world heritage; social impacts of mining

AIATSIS call number: S 37.7/10


How on Earth ? : an historical account of Jabiluka

By John Hallam

in 'Chain Reaction.' Issue no. 77, (Nov 1998), p. 10-11

Outlines the history of the Jabiluka uranium mining project and subsequent protests by the Mirrar people and environmentalists to protect Jabiluka and Kakadu National Park

AIATSIS call number: S 54/4


Jabiluka owners step up the fight,  Koori Mail, December 16, 1998; p. 4

Following the UNESCO World Heritage Committee call for a halt to the work on the Jabiluka uranium mine, Jabiluka owners, the Mirrar people, are hoping the Federal Government will act on the UNESCO report

AIATSIS call number: SF 21.7/2


Kakadu : world heritage in danger

By Dave Sweeney in "Habitat" Vol. 26, no. 6, December 199), p. 12

Reports on the visit by a delegation from the World Heritage Bureau to evaluate environmental impact of continuing development of the Jabiluka uranium mine and to determine whether Kakadu should be placed on the 'in danger' register

AIATSIS call number: S 54/2


Koongarra country

By Nigel O'Connor in 'Land Rights News', September 2010, p. 3

Jeffrey Lee, as traditional owner of Koongarra, country of the blue tongue dreaming, speaks about

protecting Koongarra from uranium mining; the government has agreed to vest the land into Kakadu

National Park

AIATSIS call number: SF 26.8/1

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Djabulukgu Association Incorporated

Kakadu Region Social Impact Study, Community Report (includes map of outstations p. x)

Mirrar People’s Home Page

Work of Jeffrey Lee

Steve Parish's Kakadu blog and photographs

Ranger Uranium Mine

Australia’s Uranium – World Nuclear Association

Parks Australia, Kakadu National Park

Department of the Environment, Kakadu National Park

Ranger Uranium Environmental Inquiry (The Fox Inquiry)

The Ranger Uranium Environmental Inquiry ran from 1975 to 1977 and looked into how to reconcile environmental conservation, uranium mining and Aboriginal interests in the Alligator Rivers region of the Northern Territory. Because the Inquiry was running at the time the government was to bring in the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act in 1976, the Inquiry was charged with hearing the claims of Aboriginal owners of land.  Thus the Alligator Rivers Stage I Land Claim formed part of this Inquiry. 

The two volume report recommended among other things that a national park be set up, that Aboriginal people be granted land rights, and that uranium mining should go ahead with strict environmental monitoring and controls.

Kakadu National Park

Stage 1 of Kakadu National Park (6144 square kilometres) was proclaimed on 5 April 1979, with much of it being on Aboriginal land.

This was followed by Stage II on 28 February 1984 (consolidating the northern areas) and Stage 3 in 1996.

Areas of the park owned by Aboriginal people are leased to the Commonwealth to be managed as a national park in a joint management arrangement with Aboriginal traditional owners on the Kakadu National Park Management Board, and a joint management plan being negotiated. There have been five management plans, with a ten year management plan currently being negotiated.  Read more about the planning process and the current joint management arrangement.

Mining Leases

Uranium mining leases for Ranger, Jabiluka and Koongarra did not form part of Kakadu National Park but they were surrounded by the park.


Kakadu World Heritage Listing

Stage 1 of Kakadu National Park was heritage listed in 1981, Stage 2 in 1987 and the whole park in 1992.

Alligator Rivers Land Claim Stage 2

In 1976 the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act was legislated by the Commonwealth Government.  This allowed Aboriginal owners of land in the Northern Territory to claim land through a claims process run by the Aboriginal Land Commissioner. It was the first land rights claims process set up in Australia.  South Australia had handed back land in 1966 with its land rights legislation, but this did not involve a land claims process.

Hearings for the land claim were held in the Northern Territory between 24 October 1980 and 27 March 1981.  Bill Neidjie was one of the Bunitj claimants who gave evidence in this land claim.

The claim was successful.

Aboriginal Land Commissioner’s final report

(Note: In the report Bunitj is spelled Bunidj and Neidjie is spelled Nayidji)

The claim area was to become Stage 2 of the Kakadu National Park in 1984.

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