In July 2017, Museums Victoria repatriated 26 sacred objects to Arrernte elders in Alice Springs, under the Indigenous Repatriation Program.
Arrernte elders identified the objects from the Museums Victoria collection to be returned and stored at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory’s (MAGNT) Strehlow Research Centre. The Centre has worked closely with the Arrernte elders to ensure storage and access to the objects is consistent with Arrernte cultural protocols.
A handover ceremony was held to welcome the return of these sacred objects to the Arrernte community after being held in the Museums Victoria collection for over 100 years. It is important that the museums sector works closely with communities to ensure a successful and smooth repatriation process.
The Australian Government’s domestic Indigenous Repatriation Program supports the repatriation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ancestral remains and secret sacred objects held in major Australian museums to their communities of origin.