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Return of Gangalidda Garawa and Nyamal material

'As a young Aboriginal person and as a proud Gangalidda man, this is, to me and my community, what true practical reconciliation looks like.' Gangalidda Garawa traditional owner Mangubadijarri Yanner.

In November 2019, eighteen culturally significant items from the Manchester Museum (part of the University of Manchester) were returned to the Gangalidda Garawa people of the Queensland Gulf Country and the Nyamal people of the inland Pilbara, Western Australia.

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.

Mangubadijarri Yanner's speech at Australia House in London, 2019.

An official handover of the material was held at Australia House, London. AIATSIS facilitated the direct return of materials to Country, and celebrations occurred with Nyamal at Marapikurrinya (Port Hedland) and with Gangalidda and Garawa at Moungibi (Burketown).

The handover ceremony follows the Manchester Museum’s announcement on 4 October 2019 that it would unconditionally return 43 items from its collection to four Aboriginal communities.

AIATSIS partnered with the Manchester Museum and the Gangalidda Garawa and Nyamal communities to research, identify and repatriate the material to keeping places on their traditional Country. The returned material includes secret / sacred and ceremonial items.

Last updated: 22 September 2020