AIATSIS welcomes Uluru climbing closure decision

Friday, 25 October 2019 - 4:30pm

Today at 4pm Australian Central Time (ACST), one of the most sacred and significant sites in Australia, Uluru, was permanently closed for climbing.

Craig Ritchie, the CEO of AIATSIS congratulated the Anangu on this momentous occasion for their people and culture. He hopes it will mark a new era of respect for Anangu culture and for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures more broadly.

 “For millenia the Anangu have cared for Uluru. In more recent times, they have campaigned successfully for dual-naming, renaming and the handback of Uluru to Traditional Owners. Today, they have achieved yet another milestone in their cultural recognition, with the cessation of climbing their sacred site. On behalf of the Institute, I would like to extend my congratulations to the Anangu Traditional Owners,” Mr Ritchie said.

“The broad support and worldwide interest in the climbing closure also shows progress towards a world in which Indigenous peoples' knowledge and cultures are recognised, valued and respected. I hope now, Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, as well as people around the world can come together and celebrate the Uluru with respect to its long and continuing Aboriginal heritage.”

The permanent closure of the climb was announced two years ago citing Uluru’s status as a sacred site, safety concerns for climbers, pollution and ecological damage. The closure comes one day short of the 34th anniversary of the handback of Uluru to Anangu Traditional Owners.


Uluru illuminated by sunrise with desert scrub in the foreground
Sunrise at Uluru, photo: AIATSIS

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Last reviewed: 25 Oct 2019