A Handful of Sand: The Gurindji
Struggle, After the Walk-off, Charlie Ward (Monash University Publishing)
The next year the group moved to Wattle Creek, a place of significance to the Gurindji
This accessible, color-illustrated work for students, scholars, and general readers gathers oral histories from witnesses, participants, and descendants of those involved in the 1966 Wave Hill Walk Off, when 200 Gurindji
stickmen and their families protested poor working conditions and the loss of their land.
Protests against lack of consultation and government agreements with mining and pastoral leases, such as the Yolngu people's bark petition1 and the 1966 Gurindji
walk-off, (2) attracted attention from state and federal governments, national and international media, trade unions, and other organizations (Foley and Anderson, 2006; Foley et al.
It was a moment that marked the return of the ancestral lands to the Gurindji
mob and yet it was a moment declared null and void with the introduction of the 2007 Northern Territory Intervention, which shifted the power of Aboriginal lives and land away from individuals and communities, back to the government.
The displacement of the Irikandji, Gungganyji, Mandingalby Yidinyji, Tjabukai, Gurindji
and other local people from their living and hunting lands fractured Indigenous cultures, a situation aggravated by removals of other groups from around the Far North to Yarrabah mission.
Stockmen employed by pastoral companies fought to secure the fertile plains, while the resisting Wardaman, Ngarinman, Karangpurru, Gurindji
, Miriwung, and other Aboriginal groups took refuge in the gorges.
In 1976, Gurindji
elder Pincher Nyurrmiyarri, proposed a 'both-ways' schooling model.
127) When, in 1966, the Northern Territory's Gurindji
people set up a strike camp and demanded the return of their ancestral land, the Waterside Workers Federation and building unions provided support.
While the Wave Hill strike was resolved favourably for the Gurindji
peoples, with Whitlam handing over 3236 square kilometres of land at Wave Hill to the rightful owners, and the eventual passing of the Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act by the Fraser government in 1976 (Summers, 2001: 194), the matter of Indigenous land rights was relegated as a minor issue until the early 1990s, when the landmark case of Eddie Mabo and others v.
A] ** HUDSON, Peter and Gurindji
Country children (illus.
Who paints for a killing: Gurindji
sorcery painting of Palngarrawuny.