Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Gurindji freedom grows a little more.

Download PDFDownload PDF

The Hon Warren Snowdon MP Labor Member for Lingiari Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Northern Australia Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Reconciliation

Contacts: Warren Snowdon — 0419 626 601 Markus Mannheim — 0418 846 596

Thursday, 19 August 2004

Gurindji freedom grows a little more

The Gurindji people will celebrate this year’s anniversary of the historic Wave Hill walk-off with the acquisition of new land from a nearby pastoral lease.

Warren Snowdon will attend the Freedom Day ceremony at Daguragu tomorrow, where he will give traditional owners a notice of title of two small parcels of land from Limbunya Station on behalf of the NT Minister for Lands and Planning, Chris Burns.

“Freedom Day celebrates an enormously important event in our history,” the member for Lingiari said.

“In many ways, the riverbed at Daguragu is the birthplace of Aboriginal land rights.

“The courageous stand that was taken here by Vincent Lingiari and the Gurindji transformed Australia and reshaped relationships between Indigenous people and the wider community.

“Their eight-year long battle for land and justice inspired hope among thousands of Indigenous Australians during one of the darkest periods in our history.

“Today, the people of Kalkaringi and Daruragu are still strong, and determined to educate their children and develop their community.

“Freedom Day teaches the children of the Gurindji about these past victories and their special place in our history.

“It’s an important and positive way of showing them that they, too, can look forward to a better future.”

The walk-off began on 23 August 1966, when Vincent Lingiari led the Gurindji off Lord Vestey’s Wave Hill cattle station in a protest against appalling working conditions and the loss of their traditional lands.

The strike galvanised support across the country and ended in Australia’s first ever hand back of land to Aboriginal people in 1975.