Advisory Committee for Indigenous Repatriation
The Advisory Committee for Indigenous Repatriation helps the Australian Government deliver the Indigenous Repatriation policy.
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 Australian Indigenous ancestral remains and secret sacred objects from Australian collecting institutions and Australian Indigenous ancestral remains from overseas.
Hear from the Co-Chairs
The Committee provides strategic advice to the Australian Government on issues directly affecting Indigenous repatriation, in relation to:
- the Australian Government's Indigenous Repatriation Policy;
- the repatriation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ancestral remains and secret sacred 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 ancestral remains and secret sacred objects); and
- other relevant matters.
The Committee also promotes awareness and understanding of the repatriation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ancestral remains and secret sacred 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 August 2017. Having served 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. He has established a good working relationship with the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History in the United States, who has agreed to return over 40 ancestors to Australia.
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 August 2017. Joining the Committee for her first term, 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.
Mr Angeles is a Kungarakany/Arrernte man from Ayampe and Alkwepetye country, located to the north of Mparntwe (Alice Springs). He was appointed as Member of the Committee for a period of three years in May 2018, and is joining for his first term.
Mr Angeles is the Artwe-kenhe (Men's) Collection Researcher at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory's Strehlow Research Centre, and is responsible for the repatriation of ancestral remains, secret sacred objects and the transfer of ancestral knowledge to custodians. His role is supported through the Australian Government's Indigenous Repatriation Program.
Mr Angeles is passionate about the maintenance, preservation and revitalisation of Arrernte culture and is heavily engaged in work with senior Arrernte elders in Central Australia to transmit important knowledge to their younger generations. Mr Angeles is an advocate for the elevation of Arrernte systems to sit in equality and importance of western knowledge and practice. Mr Angeles is recognised for his knowledge and experience with secret sacred materials and has been a speaker advocating for repatriation at symposiums and conferences. In 2017, he was involved in the repatriation of 26 secret sacred objects from Museums Victoria to the Arrernte community.
Ms Assan is a Bahdu yoepkazz (woman), with bloodlines to Badu, Saibai, Mer, Erub from the Torres Strait Islands and a Wuthathi tribal descendant. She was appointed as Member of the Committee for a period of three years in May 2018, and is joining for her first term.
Ms Assan is the Exhibitions and Public Programs Manager at the Torres Strait Regional Authority's (TSRA) Gab Titui Cultural Centre. Ms Assan is a graduate of the National Museum of Australia's Inaugural Encounters Indigenous Cultural Workers Scholarship, and the Australian Rural Leadership Program Training Rural Australians in Leadership.
In her previous position as the Cultural Development Officer at the TSRA, she developed projects that are committed to the repatriation of artefacts and cultural materials, in both virtual and physical forms and has been involved in the repatriation and conservation of her community's heritage. Ms Assan is experienced in administering, developing and delivering cultural maintenance and heritage projects, including programs involving many Torres Strait Island communities, in areas such as protocols education and language preservation.
Ms Richards is an Adnyamathanha and Barngarla woman from the northern Flinders Ranges in South Australia. She was appointed as Member of the Committee for a period of three years in June 2018, and is joining for her first term.
Ms Richards is currently an Early Career Researcher at the South Australian Museum and is in the final stages of completing her PhD in Anthropology. Ms Richards was the first Indigenous Australian to be awarded a Rhodes Scholarship, and holds a Master of Philosophy in Material Anthropology and Museum Ethnography from the University of Oxford in England. She was selected for the South Australian Museum Pathways Cadet Program and was a Project Officer at the National Museum of Australia in Canberra.
She has been an advocate for the repatriation of Indigenous ancestral remains at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and as an Oxfam International Action Partner. During her Natural History Research Experience internship at the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History, Washington DC, she contributed to the institution's first international repatriation of Indigenous ancestral remains to Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory.
Email repatriation [at] arts.gov.au
1800 006 992