There’s nothing like the feeling of being invited out to country by a traditional Aboriginal leader and custodian. My family and I enjoyed this honor as we drove the 11 hours from Sydney to a small community on the Darling River, near Wentworth and Mildura. We were driving out to see our friend Graham Clarke and his sister Leone.
Graham has owned and operated Harry Nanya Tours for 30 years. He’s the traditional custodian of Lake Mungo and is a proud Barkindji man who carries his storylines, songlines and dreamtime through his mother and father’s bloodlines. He and his siblings are traditional Barkindji.
Graham and I have had a documentary project brewing and this was a great time to fire up the camera and see what would transpire.
We were invited to the ceremonial return of Mungo Man and over 100 other skeletal ancestral remains on Friday 17 November. This was fascinating. We stood on a ridge line above Lake Mungo as the long black hearse with the Aboriginal flag on the doors and a license plate that read MUNGO1 slowly drove into position, holding the remains of these ancient people.
Forty years they’ve been held by scientists. Locked away in boxes and drawers to be studied. This was the day they finally came back to their people and their lands.
Then Graham goes and makes the cover of the Weekend Australian newspaper! Love it!