Handback – an historic moment

The 1985 Uluru handback ceremony | Credit Peter Taylor


This Saturday marks the 28th anniversary of Anangu traditional owners working together with Parks Australia to manage Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.

The handover of Uluru in 1985 was a symbolic highpoint for Indigenous land rights. On 26 October that year hundreds of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people attended a ceremony where Governor General Sir Ninian Stephen handed over the title deeds to Uluru and Kata Tjuta back to their Anangu traditional owners. Anangu then signed an agreement leasing the land back to the Australian Parks and Wildlife Service (now the Director of National Parks or Parks Australia) for 99 years to be jointly managed as a national park.

This occasion formally acknowledged Anangu ownership of the park while at the same time recognised the value of their land as a park of national significance.

Today we celebrate our joint management of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. We celebrate keeping land and culture strong. Traditional owners can now live on their land and teach their children and grandchildren as they were taught.

Chris, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park

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3 thoughts on “Handback – an historic moment

  1. I remember this day well. I was working at the Aboriginal Legal Service at Redfern. I’d given a colleague who was attending the handover some money to buy me a T shirt. She returned with a T shirt with a kangaroo looking angry – the wording was “Not only you Mob – us Mob too”. Congratulations to everybody connected to these wonderful parks.
    I’ve visited 4 times since then and every time is full of wonder.

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