printable versionPrint this page

Uluru-Kata Tjuta Handback

Category: Event
Binomial Name: Australian Commonwealth Government
Date: 26 October 1985

Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara Anagu land, Uluu-Kata Tjua National Park

State/Country:Northern Territory, Australia
Subject Matter:Recognition of Traditional Rights and Interests | Self Government
Summary Information:

Ownership of the national parklands which
surround Ul
uru and Kata Tjuta was handed back to the Anangu People by the Federal Government on 26 October 1985.

Detailed Information:

Uluṟu and Kata Tjuṯa are two sacred rock formations and popular tourist sites. The national parklands around and including these sites were handed back (ownership over them was given back) by the Federal Government to the Anaṉgu People, in particular the Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara Anaṉgu, on 26 October 1985. The handback was carried out on the condition of a handover agreement, resulting in the Anaṉgu leasing the area to Parks Australia for 99 years (Maruku Arts 2012; Cromb 2017). Prior to the handback, Uluṟu and Kata Tjuṯa were formally taken from the Anaṉgu in 1920, when the Federal, Western Australian, and South Australian governments included the land in the Great Central Desert Aboriginal Reserve, later replaced in 1950 by the Ayers Rock National Park.

The handback came about because of persistent lobbying and protest by the Anaṉgu peoples, and so their success is remembered as a victory for Aboriginal land rights and continues to inspire the community. Traditional owner Barbara Tjikatu said about the handback "My family were here for Handback. They really felt strongly about not leaving their country. It's grandfather's and the ancestors' land" (National Museum of Australia 2020).

Related Entries

  • Uluru - Kata Tjuta National Park Memorandum of Lease
  • Organisation
  • Commonwealth of Australia
  • Event
  • Wave Hill Walk-off / Gurindji Strike
  • Anangu Pitjantjatjara Land Transfer
  • People
  • Pitjantjatjara People
  • Yankunytjatjara People
  • Yanangu Aboriginal Community
  • Place
  • Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park

  • References

    General Reference
    Maruku Arts (November 12, 2020) 35 years 'Handback' of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park to local Anangu
    National Museum of Australia (14 April 2020) Handback of Uluru to the Anangu people
    Natalie Cromb (26 October 2017) The Uluru custodianship - how much opportunity was in that handback?

    Top of page

    Was this useful? Click here to fill in the ATNS survey