Skip to main content

Repatriation of Kaurna Old People

Tuesday 30 July 2019
Repatriation of Kaurna Old People

Major Kaurna traditional activity at Kingston Park on 1 August 2019

The City of Holdfast Bay is honoured to be working with Kaurna Nation on the repatriation of Kaurna old people remains into Kingston Park.

During the three day ceremony Kaurna Nation will lay to rest several Old Peoples remains which have been returned for reburial to country from the Natural History Museum, United Kingdom and the South Australian Museum.

The ceremony and reburial will be located at the southern end of Kingston Coastal Reserve and Council have also obtained permission for a small group of the Kaurna community to camp onsite and keep a ceremonial fire burning for the three days.

Date: Thursday 1 August

Time: 9am (Media Call); 10am Official Repatriation Ceremony

Location: Kingston Park

Please note the activity on Friday 2 August is a Private Sorry Day for the Kaurna Nation Community, and as such is closed to media and community attendance.

Statement From Jeffrey Newchurch, Kaurna Elder and Traditional Owner

For many years the ancestral remains of Aboriginal Kaurna old people and neighbouring Nations were collected by museums and universities across the world for the purpose of scientific research.

There currently appears to be ancestral remains of over 800 Kaurna old peoples held at the South Australian Museum's bulk store.

I have been working for many years on the return of Kaurna old people and one day I hope all ancestral remains of the Kaurna old people will be returned to Country.

The remains of eleven Kaurna old people have been located and will be returned to Kaurna land on 1 August 2019 at Kingston Park, south of Adelaide.

The remains of these Kaurna old people were held in the United Kingdom and South Australian Institutions. The Federal Government has coordinated the return of these old people from overseas to Canberra.

About 25 Kaurna people will collect and escort these old people from Canberra to Adelaide on 31 July 2019.

It is humbling to be able to lay to rest these Kaurna old people to Country, as close as possible to the location from where they were originally taken.

The City of Holdfast Bay, the South Australian Museum, the South Australian Department of Premier and Cabinet, the City of Adelaide, the Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges Natural Resources Management (NRM) Board and LendLease have sponsored the reburial of the old people at the Kingston Park.

The burial will be near the Tjilbruke Spring at Kingston Park-a sacred area for the Kaurna people. I hope that the repatriation and reburial of our Kaurna old people will continue strongly in future. The official part of the reburial occasion will be at 10am on 1 August 2019.