The colour of the dirt might have been different, but according to the Gumatj clan, the moment was no less significant.

At Gulkula in Northeast Arnhem Land, Gumatj leader Galarrwuy Yunupingu poured a handful of bauxite into the hands of Rio Tinto workers Jim Singer and Ken Kahler, just as Gough Whitlam had done with Vincent Lingiari at Wave Hill 51 years ago.

‘I feel proud. I feel more proud than ever before,’ Dr Yunupingu said.

The moment marked the opening of the Gulkula Mine, the first Aboriginal owned and operated mine in Australian history.

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