Dagaragu Handover SitePrint Page Print this page

The stone plinth and plaque record the 1975 hand back ceremony on the site, during which the then Prime Minister Gough Whitlam symbolically returned soil to the Gurindji people. The Gurindji were the first Aboriginal community to have land returned to them by the Commonwealth Government. The Handover site and Memorial are located within a small park in the centre of Gurindji. The ceremony marked the culmination of the events stemming from the Wave Hill Walk Off, in August 1966.

In August 1966, Vincent Lingiari, a Gurindji spokesman, led a walk-off of 200 Aboriginal stockmen, house servants, and their families from Wave Hill as a protest against the work and pay conditions. The strike was part of a widespread campaign begun by workers on Brunette Downs Station and supported by non-Indigenous people, including unionists and the author Frank Hardy.

The protesters camped at Wattie Creek (Daguragu) and sought the return of some of their traditional lands to develop a cattle station. They petitioned the Governor-General in 1967, and leaders toured Australia to raise awareness about their cause. In 1972, Prime Minister Whitlam announced that funds would be made available for the purchase of properties that were not on reserves, and Lord Vestey offered to surrender 90 square kilometres to the Gurindji people.

Daguragu was acquired by the Aboriginal Land Fund Commission and, on 16 August 1975 at Daguragu, Prime Minister Whitlam transferred leasehold title to the Gurindji, symbolically handing soil to Vincent Lingiari.


Address:Main Street, Gurindji, 0852
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -17.400874
Long: 130.804346
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Culture


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Friday 15th August, 1975
Source: MA, AH
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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