Senate debates

Wednesday, 19 June 2013


Indigenous Affairs

3:38 pm

Photo of Anne McEwenAnne McEwen (SA, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

At the request of Senator Crossin, I move:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) 2013 is the 50th anniversary of the Yirrkala bark petitions, and

(ii) these petitions were:

  (a) from the Yolngu people of Yirrkala and the first documents bridging Commonwealth law as it then stood, and the Indigenous laws of the land,

  (b) the first traditional documents recognised by the Commonwealth Parliament and are thus the documentary recognition of Indigenous people in Australian law,

  (c) extraordinary in nature as they were the first petitions to use traditional forms and combine bark painting with text typed on paper, and

  (d) painted designs proclaiming Yolngu law, depicting the traditional relations to the land and the typed text incorporating both English and Gumatj languages; and

(b) recognises:

(i) the national appreciation of this anniversary, and

(ii) that NAIDOC Week 2013 will be aptly themed 'We value the vision: Yirrkala Bark Petitions 1963'.

Question agreed to.