The Untold Story Behind the Wave Hill Walk-Off

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The Conversation, Felicity Meakins, University of Queensland, updated 20 August 2016

Many Australians know about the Wave Hill Walk-off 50 years ago on 23 August 1966 that led to the Aboriginal Land Rights movement. What is little known is that the walk-off followed eighty years of massacres, killings and ill treatment of the Gurindji by colonists. A new book edited by Erika Charola and Felicity Meakins, Yijarni: True Stories from Gurindji Country, was launched on 20 August 2016 by Senator Pat Dodson as part of the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the walk-off. The book recalls how the memories of this brutal treatment weighed heavily on the 200 stockmen, station workers and their families, who walked off Wave Hill Station in protest against their low pay and dreadful living conditions. After the walk-off, in a traditional burial ceremony the Gurindji interred the remains of people, massacred at Blackfellows Knob, in caves at Seale Gorge.

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