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.
The following is a select list of primary source materials on Bill Neidjie and Kakadu National Park held in the AIATSIS Collections.
“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
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
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
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
Records of the Social Impact of Uranium Mining Project 1978-1985
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
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
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
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
AIATSIS call number: B N397.32/S1
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]
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.
AIATSIS call number: p CHR
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.
AIATSIS call number: B C556.49/K1
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.
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-
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-
AIATSIS call number: B L933.43/W1
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 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.
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".
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
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
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.-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
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
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
AIATSIS call number: SF 26.8/1
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.
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.
Uranium mining leases for Ranger, Jabiluka and Koongarra did not form part of Kakadu National Park but they were surrounded by the park.
Stage 1 of Kakadu National Park was heritage listed in 1981, Stage 2 in 1987 and the whole park in 1992.
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.