Expedition to Pitjantjatjara Lands

Introduction to the Pitjantjatjata Lands Expedition
Due to Bereavement no expedition in 2016

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Pitjantjatjara Lands has been described as the jewel in the outback crown. The landscapes in the Everard and Musgrave Ranges are simply stunning. And with a rigorous permit system very few people have the opportunity to see it. Our expedition departs Adelaide and enters the Lands at Indulkana north of Marla Bore. From there we travel through the Everard and Musgrave Ranges. Anangu will show us how to collect bush foods, like witchetty grubs and honey ants. We will see some extraordinary landscapes, mountains, valleys, gorges, waterholes and plains. We will visit rock art sites, and our Anangu hosts will interpret them. In the Everard Ranges there are some wonderful dreaming trails amongst areas of the most extraordinary beauty. The Musgrave ranges rise from the desert to over 4,000'.

Ernest Giles
Ernest Giles

What did Ernest Giles think of the Musgraves?

"Everything was of the best kind here-timber, water, grass, and mountains. In all my wanderings, over thousands of miles in Australia, I never saw a more delightful and fanciful region than this, and one indeed where a white man might live and be happy. The country is excellent, and the scenery most beautiful - pine clad, red, and rocky hills being scattered about in various directions, while further to the west the high, bold, and very rugged chain rose into peaks and points." -Ernest Giles September 1873

Mimilik
Happy Kids

The Pitjantjatjara Land Rights Act

Prior to the Pitjantjatjara Land Rights, the eastern side of the lands was primarily pastoral leasehold. In July 1976 the first meeting of the Pitjantjatjara Council was held at Amata. For the first time, geographically scattered Pitjantjatjara groups, formally, and of their own accord, articulated to white society that they were one people linked by law and could thus speak with one voice. The Dunstan Government had commenced a process of negotiation and consultation, and when David Tonkin came to power in 1979, he vowed to continue this. After many years of struggle, on 19th. March 1981 the Governor of South Australia consented to the Pitjantjatjara Land Rights Act, and the Anangu took possession of their land. Don Dunstan later said, "To devise a framework which would in effect use European courts to enforce non-legal Aboriginal concepts of relationship to land was vitally important to achieve."-

Pantju Thompson
Punch with David Tonkin

What did Punch Thompson have to say about Land Rights?

"We got our land back so we can look after all the sacred sites properly and look after other beautiful things on our lands in the same way that a long time ago our people kept them beautifully. And they lived together in various groups, everybody in their family groups, teaching the children well about their grandparents sacred sites and tjukurpa"

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