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Bark Petition (transcript) tabled in the House of Representatives 14 and 28 August, 1963

Warning. Australian Stories may contain the names and images of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people now deceased. Australian Stories also contain links to sites that may use images of Aboriginal and Islander people now deceased.

Bukudjulni gonga'yurri napurrunha Yirrkalalili yulnunha malanha Balamumu, Narrkala, Gapiny, Miliwurrwurr, nanapurru dhuwala mala, ga Djapu, Mangalili, Madarrpa, Magarrwanalmirri, Djambarrpuynu, Marrkulu, Gumaitj, Galpu, Dhaluangu, Wangurri, Warramirri, Naymil, Riritjingu malamanapanmirri djal dhunapa.

  1. Dhuwala yolnu mala galki, 500 nhina ga dhiyala wanganura. Dhuwala wanga Arnhem Land yurru djaw'yunna naburrungala.
  2. Dhuwala wanga djaw'yunna ga nhaltjana yurru yolnunundja dhiyala wanga nura nhaltjanna dhu dharrpanna yolnu walandja yakana lakarama madayangumuna.
  3. Dhuwala nunhi Welfare Officers ga Government bungawa lakarama yolnuwa malanuwa nhaltjarra nhuma gana wanganaminha yaka nula napurrungu lakarama, walala yaka lakarama, walala yaka lakarama Governmentgala nunhala Canberra nhaltjanna napurru ga guyana yolnuyu Yirrkala.
  4. Dhuwala wanga napurrunyu balanu larrunarawu napurrungu nathawu, guyawu, miyapunuwu, maypalwu nunhi napurru gana nhinana bitjarrayi nathilimirri, napurru dhawalguyanana dhiyala wanganura.
  5. Dhuwala wanga yurru dharrpalnha yurru yolnuwalandja malawala, ga dharrpalnha dhuwala bala yolnuwuyndja nhinanharawu Melville Baythurru wanga balandayu djaw'yun nyumukunin.
  6. Dhuwala yolnundja mala yurru nhamana balandawunu nha mulkurru nhama yurru moma ga daranun yalalanumirrinha nhaltjanna dhu napurru bitjarra nhakuna Larrakeahyu momara walalanguwuy wanga.
  7. Nuli dhu bungawayu House of Representatives djaw'yun yulnuwala nathili yurru nha dhu lakarama interpreteryu bungawawala yolnu matha, yurru nha dhu djaw'yun wangandja.
  8. Nunhiyina dhu marrlayun marrama'ndja nhinanharawu yolnuwu marrnamathinyarawu.

Dhuwala napurru yolnu mala yurru liyamirriyama bitjan bili marr yurru napurru nha gonga'yunna wagarr'yu.

To the honourable speaker and members of the House of Representatives in Parliament assembled.

The Humble Petition of the Undersigned aboriginal people of Yirrkala being members of the Balamumum, Narrkala, Gapiny, Miliwurrwurr people and Djapu, Mangalili, Madarrpa, Magarrwanalinirri, Djambarrpuynu, Gumaitj, Marrakulu, Galpu, Dhaluangu, Wangurri, Warramirri, Naymil, Rirritjingu tribes respectfully showeth.

  1. That nearly 500 people of the above tribes are residents of the land exised from the Aboriginal Reserve in Arnhem Land.
  2. That the procedures of the excision of this land and the rate of the people on it were never explained to them beforehand, and were kept secret from them.
  3. That when Welfare Officers and Government officials came to inform them of decisions taken without them and against them, they did not undertake to convey to the Government in Canberra the views and feelings of the Yirrkala aboriginal people.
  4. That the land in question has been hunting and food gathering land for the Yirrkala tribes from time immemorial; we were all born here.
  5. That places sacred to the Yirrkala people, as well as vital to their livelihood are in the excised land, especially Melville Bay.
  6. That the people of this area fear that their needs and interests will be completely ignored as they have been ignored in the past, and they fear that the fate which has overtaken the Larrakeah tribe will overtake them.
  7. And they humbly pray that the Honourable the House Of Representatives will appoint a Committee, accompanied by competent interpreters, to hear the views of the people of Yirrkala before permitting the excision of this land.
  8. They humbly pray that no arrangements be entered into with any company which will destroy the livelihood and independence of the Yirrkala people.

And your petitioners as in duty bound will ever pray God to help you and us.

Last updated: 7th January 2008

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