Ministers for the Department of Communications and the Arts

Senator the Hon Mitch Fifield

Minister for Communications

Minister for the Arts

Manager of Government Business in the Senate

Aboriginal ancestral remains return home from the UK

9 November 2015

Today, the Australian Government welcomes the return of Aboriginal ancestral remains from the United Kingdom to the Dunghutti community of New South Wales.

On 2 November, the ancestor was officially accepted by Mr Kenneth Dickson, an Elder of the Dunghutti community in a ceremony at the Great Hall and Queen Eleanor's Garden in Hampshire.

The ancestor will be transferred to the Australian Museum at the request of the community, where they will be cared for in trust until the community is able to rebury them in country.

It is believed the remains were removed from Australia during the 1960s and taken to the United Kingdom. The remains were donated to the Hampshire Cultural Trust in the 1980s by a research biologist and local resident.

The decision by Hampshire Culture Trust and Hampshire County Council to return the ancestral remains to the rightful custodians shows great interest and respect for Indigenous Australian culture. I thank them for their initiative and reverence during the repatriation process.

To date, over 1,000 Indigenous Australian ancestral remains have been returned from the United Kingdom to Traditional Custodians with the support of the Australian Government's Indigenous Repatriation Program.

Through the Indigenous Repatriation Program, the Australian Government is committed to assisting Indigenous communities in pursuing the unconditional return of ancestral remains held in overseas collections and within Australia.

Media contact: Justine Sywak | 0448 448 487 | Justine.Sywak@communications.gov.au

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