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Dhakiyarr WirrpandaPrint Page Print this page

Memorial commemorates the Aboriginal Dhakiyarr who was convicted of spearing a policeman in accordance with tribal law and then freed after the High Court overturned the decision.

In 1933 this Yolngu tribal leader came across a policeman who had broken Aboriginal law by trespassing on Yolngu land. He had also chained up Dhakiyarr`s wife. In accordance with aboriginal law, Dhakiyarr speared the policeman, Constable Albert McColl, through the leg. McColl died. The retribution in accordance with European law was equally harsh. On the advice of a missionary, Reverend Dyer, Dhakiyarr travelled to Darwin to face the Northern Territory Supreme Court, where he was sentenced to death for murder. After lobbying by academics and unions, however, the High Court overturned the decision, ordering Dhakiyarr be freed. At the time, it was a hugely controversial result, recognising Aborigines should be treated equally before the law. Dhakiyarr was freed from Fannie Bay Gaol, where he had been held for seven months, and taken to the Kahlin compound in Darwin on 12 November. Dyer had arranged to meet him at the cinema, but Dhakiyarr did not appear and was never seen again.

Location

Address:Mitchell Street, Outside Parliament House, Darwin, 0800
State:NT
Area:AUS
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -12.466111
Long: 130.842778
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Details

Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:People
Sub-Theme:Indigenous
Link:http://adbonline.anu.edu.au/adbonli…
Source: MA, ADB
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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