THE HON WARREN SNOWDON MP
Member for Lingiari
24 August 2011
The Member for Lingiari, Warren Snowdon, has offered his best wishes to all participants and visitors to the 45th anniversary celebrations of the famous Wave Hill walk-off.
A festival will be held from the 26-28 August at Kalkaringi-Dagaragu in the Victoria River region of the Northern Territory.
“I am very proud to be the Member for the Lingiari electorate in the Australian Parliament. The electorate is named for the great leader of the walk-off Vincent Lingiari,” Mr Snowdon said.
Mr Snowdon said the festival commemorates the actions taken by Gurindji, Mudburra, Warlpiri, Jaru, Bilinara and Ngaringman stockmen who went on strike over poor wages and working conditions on Lord Vestey’s Wave Hill Station in August 1966.
“The strike quickly developed under Vincent Lingiari’s dynamic leadership into a seven-year struggle for rights to traditional lands for Gurindji and other Indigenous groups in the region,” said Mr Snowdon.
He said the actions of the strikers and their supporters are widely regarded as leading to the national land rights movement.
“For the Gurindji their strike culminated in Prime Minister Gough Whitlam handing back some of their traditional lands on August 26, 1975 and the enactment by the Australian Parliament of Land Rights legislation for the Northern Territory in 1976,“ said Mr Snowdon.
Visitors will be welcomed with re-enactments of the walk-off, tours led by walk-off veterans of ‘old’ Wave Hill Station (Jinbarrak), performances by the Black Arm Band and local Indigenous bands, in addition to multi-media displays and art exhibitions.
“I am pleased that the Gurindji organisers have been able to access funding for this year’s festival through the Aboriginal Benefits Account.
“All are welcome at Kalkaringi-Dagaragu for this year’s festival.
It will be an especially poignant one with the recent passing of senior Indigenous lawman and walk-off veteran Mr B Bunter Jambajimpa,“ Mr Snowdon said.
Media Contact: Alice Plate 0400 045 999