Batchelor Institute » Batchelor Institute Seminar Series 2022: On the shoulders of Gurindji Giants
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Date:September 02, 2022

Batchelor Institute Seminar Series 2022: On the shoulders of Gurindji Giants

March-Gurindji Freedom Day poster image[17]

The highly anticipated Batchelor Seminar Series kicked off again on 25 August 2022 with On the shoulders of Gurindji Giants, presented by Batchelor Institute’s Elder Academic Dr Sue Stanton.

The series, which is now in its second year after a positive reception in 2021, strives to educate audiences about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledge that they have not been exposed to before.

Dr Stanton’s presentation discussed the significance of Freedom Day and acknowledged Gurindji people and their leadership in the struggle for rights and justice for Aboriginal people. Freedom Day marks the anniversary of the Wave Hill walk-off, which commemorates the time in August 1966 when Gurindji people, along with Mudpurra, Warlpiri and other Aboriginal people, stood up against unjust treatment experienced at Wave Hill Station (Jinparrak).

The station was one of many sites throughout the Northern Territory that subjected Aboriginal people to a methodical and meticulous campaign of destruction and desolation. That is, until Gurindji people, led by Vincent Lingiari, challenged those who exploited them by walking from Wave Hill Station to Wattie Creek (Dagaragu).

The Wave Hill walk-off was a catalyst for all Aboriginal people, not only in the Northern Territory but also Australia-wide, to have their traditional lands recognised and for those lands to be returned to them. Freedom Day now marks the birth of the land rights movement when on 16 August 1975 then-prime minister Gough Whitlam poured Dagaragu sand into Vincent Lingiari’s hand, a moment that is now celebrated every year at Kalkarindji.

This year, the celebration was dedicated to Gurindji women in particular, who are remembered for their outstanding contributions in the struggles both before and after 1966, and who continue to give strength and inspiration to the present day.

As Dr Stanton said, Gurindji people remind us that if we are now able to see further than others, it is because we stand on the shoulders of giants – the Gurindji giants of 1966.

The full 2021 Seminar Series is available to watch here, and recordings of the 2022 Seminar Series will be located here. Upcoming seminars are slated for 29 September, 27 October and 24 November 2022.

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