The Australian Government seeks the unconditional return of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ancestral remains from overseas collections.

The Australian Government seeks the unconditional return of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ancestral remains overseas governments, institutions and private holders.

Repatriation is a collaborative process. We encourage a holistic approach to repatriation where overseas governments, institutions and private holders work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to return ancestral remains.

We have a joint arrangement with France which demonstrates the commitment of both governments to increase efforts to work cooperatively on the repatriation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ancestral remains.

For more information, email repatriation [at] arts.gov.au.

 1 from Canada, 100 from the United States of America, 1228 from the United Kingdom, 52 from Germany, 47 from Austria, 33 from Sweden, eight from the Czech Republic, five from the Netherlands and one from Ireland.

More information

Questions and Answers—Indigenous Repatriation Program—International

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For more than 150 years, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ancestral remains were removed and sent to museums, universities and private collections both in Australia and overseas. They were collected by medical officers, anatomists, ethnologists, anthropologists and pastoralists. At the time of collection, ancestral remains from many Indigenous cultures around the world were highly sought after for scientific research and the value it was believed they added to collections.