Realising Mungarrawuy’s legacy – Galarrwuy Yunupingu and the Gumatj clan forge a new future in north-east Arnhem Land


And ? He’s about to turn 70, but still keeps a sharp eye on development and is guiding every step taken. He has straddled the whole of the ’s history of self-government, been public enemy number one, and respected elder number one, sometimes at the same time. He has hosted every prime minister since Whitlam and none claim to have bettered him.

The Gumatj clan and its leaders are etched into the DNA of the Northern Territory. From early resistance to pastoralists in the 1930s through the campaigns against the bauxite mine that led to the Act, through Galarrwuy ’s quarter century chairmanship of the Northern Land Council, his deceased brothers leadership of the School and the Yothu Yindi band, to the establishment with other Yolngu of the Rangers and the Festival, the brilliance of the blind musician G Yunupingu, or the paintings of the Yunupingu sisters emanating from Buku Larrnggay Art Centre.


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