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   10   Captain Cook and Aboriginal heritage materials

Mr Thistlethwaite, pursuant to notice, moved—That this House:

(1)        notes that:

(a)        29 April 2020 is the 250th anniversary of Captain James Cook’s landing in Botany Bay; and

(b)        the Government is planning a range of exhibitions, activities and events to commemorate this occasion;

(2)        acknowledges:

(a)        that during Captain Cook’s expedition to Australia in 1770 a number of Aboriginal artefacts and cultural heritage materials were taken from local Aboriginal people and removed to Great Britain and other countries;

(b)        many of these cultural heritage materials are now on display or housed in museums and colleges in Great Britain and other countries; and

(c)        the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) Return of Cultural Heritage Project has been working to intensify the effort to return material held overseas to their original custodians and owners;

(3)        recognises:

(a)        the historical, cultural and heritage significance of such cultural heritage materials to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Australian history;

(b)        that such cultural items, where possible, should be returned to the original custodians and owners; and

(c)        that these cultural materials:

(i)         play an important role in truth telling about Captain Cook’s expedition and British settlement in Australia; and

(ii)       provide ongoing educational opportunities for all Australians about important Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, culture and connection to country; and

(4)        calls on the Government to work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities, AIATSIS, foreign governments and authorities to:

(a)        establish a process for the return of relevant cultural and historical artefacts to the original custodians and owners; and

(b)        identify educational opportunities from the return of these important Australian cultural items.

Debate ensued.

The time allotted for the debate having expired, the debate was interrupted, and the resumption of the debate made an order of the day for the next sitting.