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Australian Statement for the Interactive Dialogue on the annual report on the work of the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

24 September 2020

Kaya Wangju [Hello and welcome]

Bringing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural heritage material and ancestral remains home is a key aspiration of Australia's Indigenous peoples.

For over 30 years the Australian Government has supported the return of more than 4,300 ancestral remains, 85 culturally significant objects and in excess of 2,240 secret sacred objects from international institutions, Australian museums and private collections.

Where possible, these have been returned to their traditional owners.

I'm committed to working with our people to ensure that the return of those things that are important to us occurs.  It is through our institutions that we have the opportunity to negotiate with countries around the world to where our people were taken or sacred objects and artefacts were also taken to be studied.

Our journey has been successful, but I'm certainly looking forward to a better outcome with more and more recognition by institutes around our globe.

To the Expert Mechanism, I thank you for the work you have done and for your report.

166 Words

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