Tag: Galarrwuy Yunupingu

Yirrkala

Yirrkala is an indigenous community in East Arnhem Shire, Northern Territory of Australia.[1] It is 18 km South-East from the large mining town of Nhulunbuy in Arnhem Land. In the 2016 census, Yirrkala had a population of 809 people.[2]

History

At the 2006 census, Yirrkala had a population of 687.[3]

There has been an indigenous community at Yirrkala throughout recorded history, but the community increased enormously in size when Yirrkala mission was founded in 1935. Local governance and planning are now the responsibility of the Yolngu-led Dhanbul, which is roughly equivalent to a Shire Council in non-indigenous communities.

At the 2006 census, Yirrkala had a population of 687.[3]

Yirrkala is also home to a number of Mission Aviation Fellowship pilots and engineers based in Arnhem Land providing air transport services.

Culture

Yirrkala is home to a number of leading indigenous artists, whose traditional Aboriginal art, particularly bark painting, can be found in art galleries around the world, and whose work frequently wins awards such as the Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards.[4] Their work is available to the public from the Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Art Centre and Museum[5] and also from the YBE art centre.

It is also a traditional home of the Yidaki (didgeridoo), and some of the world’s finest didgeridoos are still made at Yirrkala.

Land rights

Yirrkala played a pivotal role in the development of the relationship between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians when the document Bark Petition was created at Yirrkala in 1963 and sent to the Federal Government to protest at the Prime Minister’s announcement that a parcel of their land was to be sold to a bauxite mining company. Although the petition itself was unsuccessful in the sense that the bauxite mining at Nhulunbuy went ahead as planned, it alerted non-indigenous Australians to the need for indigenous representation in such decisions, and prompted a government report recommending payment of compensation, protection of sacred sites, creation of a permanent parliamentary standing committee to scrutinise developments at Yirrkala, and also acknowledged the indigenous people’s moral right to their lands. The Bark Petition is on display in the Parliament House in Canberra.[6]

Heritage listings

One of the Wurrwurrwuy stone arrangements

Yirrkala has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:

Notable people

 

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Abbott plans flying visit to remote NT boarding school

Tony Abbott will make his first public venture into a remote Aboriginal school today as special envoy on indigenous affairs, visiting the new Dawurr boarding quarters at Nhulunbuy High School in northeastern Arnhem Land.

Mr Abbott announced a priority in his role would be examining how to improve remote indigenous school attendance rates, although today’s brief visit will raise eyebrows for having failed to engage with key local figures such as Gumatj clan leader Galarrwuy Yunupingu.

Yunupingu calls out government over land

The colonisation of Australia was wrong and illegal and more land should be handed back to traditional owners, says activist Galarrwuy Yunupingu.

Aboriginal leader Galarrwuy Yunupingu has told the federal government it must face up to the fact the colonisation of Australia was wrong and illegal and more land should be handed back to traditional owners.

Dr Yunupingu, a 70-year-old land rights activist and leader of the Gumatj clan of the Yolngu people, opened the 20th Garma Festival in East Arnhem Land, where he made the remarks, on Friday.

Leaders’ pace on reform ‘too slow’

Senior indigenous leader Galarrwuy Yunupingu has admonished Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten for the slow pace of indigenous constitutional recognition, almost a year after he believed both men were going to make the issue a ­priority in the parliament.

Penning a heartfelt chairman’s essay for his Yothu Yindi Foundation’s annual Garma Festival in August, Mr Yunupingu, a leader of Northeast Arnhem Land’s Yolngu people, expresses disappointment that the Prime Minister and Opposition Leader have not translated their forceful words at last year’s event into adequate ­action.