The State Ethnographic Collections of Saxony hosted a moving handover ceremony at the Grassi Museum in Leipzig on Thursday 28 November at 1.00pm (10.00pm Australian time (AEDT)) to return 45 Australian Indigenous ancestors to Australia.
Five community representatives were in attendance at the ceremony to receive their ancestors and accompany them home. Thirty-five ancestors were returned to the Gunaikurnai people in Victoria, six ancestors were returned to the Menang people in Western Australia and one old person was returned to the Ngarrindjeri people in South Australia. Three ancestors will return to Australia under the stewardship of the Australian Government and be placed into temporary care while further research and community consultation is undertaken to determine the community of origin.
This repatriation is the result of ongoing collaboration between the Australian and German Governments, Germany's State Ethnographic Collections and representatives from Australian Indigenous communities and organisations. This return brings the total number of Australian Indigenous ancestors repatriated to Australia from Germany through the Australian Government's Indigenous Repatriation Program to 150. It is the second repatriation from Germany this year.
Australian Indigenous peoples are the rightful custodians of their ancestors' remains and the Australian Government is committed to seeking the unconditional return of Australian Indigenous ancestors held in overseas collections through the Indigenous Repatriation Program.