Advisory Committee for Indigenous Repatriation
The Advisory Committee for Indigenous Repatriation provides advice to the Australian Government on repatriation matters.
Advisory Committee for Indigenous Repatriation
The Advisory Committee for Indigenous Repatriation (the Committee) is an all-Indigenous committee. The Minister for the Arts appoints members of the Committee to advise on policy and program issues related to the repatriation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ancestral remains (ancestors) and secret sacred objects (objects) held in Australian collecting institutions and ancestors and associated material held overseas.
Hear about repatriation
The Committee provides strategic advice to the Australian Government on issues directly affecting Indigenous repatriation, including:
- The Australian Government's Indigenous Repatriation Policy.
- The repatriation of ancestors and objects that have limited provenance and no identified community of origin.
- Repatriation matters that affect all or many communities (as each community advises on its own cultural protocols for ancestors and objects).
- Any other relevant matters.
The Committee also promotes awareness and understanding of the repatriation of ancestors and objects.
Committee members must be of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander descent. In addition, members must have:
- an understanding of Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander culture and traditions
- experience in Indigenous repatriation and/or cultural heritage work.
Current Committee members are:
Mr Gordon is a Goorang Goorang man from Rockhampton in Queensland. He was appointed as a Co-Chair of the Committee for a period of three years in September 2020. Having served one previous term as Co-Chair and two previous terms as a Committee Member, Mr Gordon has made a considerable contribution to the Committee and brings 35 years of expertise working in Indigenous cultural heritage, museum practice and repatriation.
Mr Gordon made significant contribution to the Committee's National Resting Place Consultation Report that considers the long-term care of Australian Indigenous ancestors that have no identified community of origin. Together with Ms Grant, he was a member of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, National Resting Place Indigenous Advisory Committee, in 2019 and 2020.
Mr Gordon is currently the Manager of Indigenous Projects at the Australian Museum in Sydney. In this role, he advises communities on issues such as museum outreach and repatriation of ancestral remains and other significant cultural property. He also provides advice for government agencies on cultural heritage and policy development. He is a Member of the Strehlow Research Centre Board of Management, and a Member of the Museums and Galleries of NSW's Board of Management, Aboriginal Reference Committee and Panel of Peers.
Ms Grant is a Kuku Yalanji and Mualgal woman from Far North Queensland and the Torres Strait Islands. She was appointed as Co-Chair of the Committee for a period of three years in September 2020. Having served one previous term as Co-Chair, Ms Grant has made a considerable contribution to the Committee. Together with Mr Gordon, she was a member of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, National Resting Place Indigenous Advisory Committee, in 2019 and 2020. Ms Grant brings over 30 years of experience in governance, national and world heritage management and policy development and provides support to Indigenous people.
Ms Grant is currently the Principal Director of CTG Services; Chair of the National Health and Medical Research Council's, Indigenous Research Ethics Guidelines Review Working Committee; past Chair of 12 years, of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Research Ethics Committee; and a member of various advisory committees to the Minister for Environment and Energy, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, and the National Indigenous Land and Sea Manager's Network.
In 2009–10, Ms Grant Co-Chaired the Australian Government's International Repatriation Advisory Committee, and led, with Mr Gordon, a national independent review on the International Repatriation Program.
Dr Ormond-Parker is of Alyawarre decent from the Barkly Tablelands region of the Northern Territory. He is joining the Committee for his second term, after being reappointed as a Member of the Committee in May 2018 for a further period of three years.
Dr Ormond-Parker is an Australian Research Council Research Fellow in the Indigenous Studies Unit of the University of Melbourne's School of Population and Global Health. He has been involved in policy development, research and negotiations at the national and international levels, focusing on Australian Indigenous communities in the area of information technology, cultural heritage, materials conservation, genomics and repatriation. As a previous visiting Research Fellow at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London, he worked on cataloguing and documenting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ancestral remains and material culture in European universities, museums and hospital collections, and assisted Aboriginal communities with the repatriation of ancestral remains and cultural objects.
Dr Ormond-Parker is an Indigenous heritage expert and is a Member of the Australian Heritage Council. He has published and lectured on Aboriginal cultural heritage issues relating to Aboriginal ancestral remains, material culture and return of digital archival materials to local communities.
Dr Christopher Wilson is from Adelaide in South Australia. He grew up Aboriginal and strongly identifies with Ngarrindjeri people of the Lower Murray Lakes and Coorong, and Kaurna people of the Adelaide Plains. He is also exploring his whaling heritage and connections from Kangaroo Island. He was appointed as a member of the Committee for a period of three years in July 2021. Joining the Committee for his first term, Dr Wilson brings over 17 years of expertise working in the field of archaeology, Indigenous cultural heritage, repatriation of ancestral remains, reburial of Old Peoples remains and museum studies.
Dr Wilson is a Senior Lecturer in Archaeology and Indigenous Studies at the Flinders University's College of Humanities Arts and Social Sciences. In 2009, Dr Wilson was a member of the Australian Government's International Repatriation Advisory Committee, led by Mr Gordon and Ms Grant, working on a national independent review on the International Repatriation Program. He is currently a member of the South Australian Museum's Board and Aboriginal Partnerships Committee. While growing his academic networks nationally, Dr Wilson works closely with Indigenous communities in South Australia and globally around the care, management and protection of cultural heritage through archaeology, museums and public education, including media and television.