26 October 2020: Exactly one year since the climb was closed. And 35 years since “Handback” of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park to local Aboriginal people – Anangu.
At a celebration today, attended by many Anangu from throughout the region, Chairman of the Board, Sidney James – with Park Manager Dianne Scopel – cuts the cake.
Today we celebrated the 35th anniversary of the handback of Uluṟu and Kata Tjuṯa to Aṉangu. It also marks one year since the closure of the climb.
Anangu travelled wide and far to celebrate today keeping land and culture strong with Inma (ceremony). Dancing is a strong traditional tool to keep culture strong. It connects the dancer and singer with their ancestors, it reminds them of their traditions and helps to maintain and pass on traditional knowledge.
On 26 October 1985, the Governor-General of Australia returned the title deeds to the park to Anangu in a handback ceremony on the oval in Mutitjulu community.
In return, Anangu leased the land to the Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service (now Parks Australia) for 99 years. The board of management was set up in December 1985 with a majority of Anangu members, and the park continues to be jointly managed by Anangu and Parks Australia.
Images from last night’s Inma and today’s Inma celebration in Mutitjulu Community in the exact same spot of the 1985 handback.