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Media Release by The Hon Mal Brough MP

Successful mediation leads to repatriation of remains

Joint Media Release with:

  • The Hon Philip Ruddock MP, Attorney-General

Aboriginal remains held in London will be repatriated to Tasmania within days, following successful mediation, Attorney-General Philip Ruddock and Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs Minister Mal Brough announced today.

The mediation between the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre and the Natural History Museum in London is expected to lead to the repatriation of the remains to the community in Tasmania.

This successful outcome demonstrates that Indigenous communities and those organisations holding remains can work together to reach common ground.

The Australian Government, which supported the mediation, applauds the contribution of all parties involved. Co-mediators, Sir Laurence Street from Australia and Lord Woolf from the UK, played an instrumental role in achieving this outcome.

The parties have undertaken to negotiate in good faith on next steps in implementing the agreement.

The Australian Government stands ready to facilitate implementation of the mediated outcome.

The Prime Ministerial Joint Statement on Aboriginal Remains (2000) between Prime Minister John Howard and United Kingdom Prime Minister Tony Blair set in place a framework for a cooperative and respectful approach to repatriation of Australian Indigenous remains from organisations in the UK.