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Oil painting of a man wearing a dark long coat with multiple skeletons hanging from safety pins.

Portrait of Anthony Martin Fernando by Raj Nagi

Return, Reconcile, Renew Project: further information

  • Website:
  • Cressida Fforde, Timothy McKeown and Honor Keeler, The Routledge Companion to Indigenous Repatriation: Return, Reconcile, Renew, Routledge, London, 2020.

Useful contacts


Indigenous Repatriation
Collections and Cultural Heritage
Department of Communications and the Arts
GPO Box 2154
Canberra ACT 2601

Phone: 1800 006 992

Repatriation Program Manager
National Museum of Australia
GPO Box 1901
Canberra ACT 2601

Phone: +61 2 6208 5019

Australian Capital Territory

Environment and Planning Directorate
GPO Box 158
Canberra City ACT 2601

Phone: +61 02 6207 1923

New South Wales

Repatriation & Conservation Programs
Heritage Division
Office of Environment and Heritage
NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet
PO Box 1967
Hurstville BC NSW 1481

Phone: +61 2 9995 5000

Repatriation Coordinator
Australian Museum
6 College Street
Sydney NSW 2010

Phone: +61 2 9320 6000

Repatriation Coordinator
NSW Aboriginal Land Council
PO Box 1125
Parramatta NSW 2124

Phone: +61 2 9689 4444


Manager, Repatriation and Community Engagement
Queensland Museum
PO Box 3300
South Brisbane BC QLD 4101

Phone: +61 7 3840 7555

Western Australia

Department of Aboriginal Affairs
Ancestral Remains Repatriation Program
PO Box 3153
East Perth WA 6892

Phone: 1300 651 077

Repatriation Manager
Western Australian Museum
Locked Bag 49
Welshpool DC WA 6986

Phone: 1300 134 081

Northern Territory

Repatriation Manager
Northern Territory Museum and Art Gallery
GPO Box 4646
Darwin NT 0801

Phone: +61 8 8999 8264

Aboriginal Areas Protection Authority
GPO Box 1890
Darwin NT 0801

Phone: +61 8 8999 5511

Northern Land Council
GPO Box 1222
Darwin NT 0801

Phone: +61 8 8920 5100

Central Land Council
PO Box 3321
Alice Springs NT 0871

Phone: +61 8 8951 6211

Strehlow Research Centre
PO Box 831
Alice Springs NT 0871

Phone: +61 8 8951 1111


Aboriginal Affairs Victoria
GPO Box 2392
Melbourne VIC 3001

Phone: 1800 762 003

Senior Project Officer
Repatriation and Community Support
Museum Victoria
PO Box 666
Melbourne VIC 3001

Phone: +61 3 8341 7363


Repatriation Manager
Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery
GPO Box 1164
Hobart TAS 7001

Phone: +61 3 6165 7001

Aboriginal Heritage Tasmania
GPO Box 44
Hobart TAS 7001

Phone: +61 3 6165 3152

South Australia

Aboriginal Heritage and Repatriation Manager
South Australian Museum
North Terrace
Adelaide SA 5000

Phone: +61 8 8207 7500

Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation Division
GPO Box 2343
Adelaide SA 5001

Phone: +61 8 8226 3500

Federal, state and territory legislation



New South Wales


Australian Capital Territory (ACT)



South Australia

Western Australia

Northern Territory

Archival resources

Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies

National Archives of Australia

National Library of Australia

New South Wales State Records Office

Northern Territory Archives Service

Northern Territory Library

Public Records Office Victoria

Queensland State Archives

State Library of New South Wales

State Library of Queensland

State Library of South Australia

State Library of Tasmania

State Library of Victoria

State Library of Western Australia

State Records of South Australia

State Records Office of Western Australia

Tasmania State Archives

Museum policies

Australian Museum, Repatriation of Indigenous Secret/Sacred and Aboriginal Ancestral Remains Collections, 2012 (PDF)

Museum Victoria, Repatriation of Ancestral Remains: Repatriation of Indigenous Cultural Policy, 2019

National Museum of Australia, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Human Remains Management and Repatriation Policy, 2011

Queensland Museum, Repatriation of Aboriginal Peoples and Torres Strait Islanders Ancestral Remains, 2019

South Australian Museum, Management and Repatriation of Ancestral Remains and Burial Goods Policy, 2018

Human anatomy guides

Much information on human skeletal structure is available on the internet. This is much cheaper than buying textbooks. Some online references include:

Packing Ancestral Remains

Myra Giese (ed.), Curating Human Remains: Caring for the Dead in the United Kingdom, Boydell Press, Woodbridge, 2013.

University of Bradford, n.d.: Biological Anthropology Research Centre (BARC): Human Remains Policy (Appendix 2) (PDF)

York Osteology, 2019: How to Pack a Skeleton


Art Transport

International Art Services

Importing Ancestral Remains

Responsibility now rests with Department of Health in consultation with the Department of Agriculture.

Supporting legislation: Biosecurity Act 2015, No. 61, 2015, which took effect from 16 June 2016

DNA testing

Australian Law Reform Commission 36: Kinship and Identity: Genetic Testing and Aboriginality

Australian National University, John Curtin School of Medical Research, National Centre for Indigenous Genomics

Information for communities scientific testing on Indigenous ancestral remains

Monash University Faculty of Science

University of Western Australia, Centre for Genetic Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Centre for Genetic Origins of Health and Disease

Further reading

Advisory Committee for National Resting Place, National Resting Place: 2014 Consultation Report

Australian Government statement (Accessed 12 August 2019)

German Museums Association/Deutscher Museumsbund, Recommendations for the Care of Human Remains in Museums and Collections, April 2013 (PDF) (Accessed 13 August 2019)

Darren Goodsir, ‘Museum thief: “I just collected ’em”’, Sydney Morning Herald, 25 September 2003 (Accessed 12 August 2019)

International Council of Museums, ICOM Code of Ethics for Museums, 2013 (Accessed 4 November 2019)

Honor Keeler, A Guide to International Repatriation: Starting an Initiative in Your Community, Association on American Indian Affairs (AAIA), 2015 (PDF) (Accessed 13 August 2019)

Emma Kowal, L Rouhani and Ian Anderson, Genetic Research in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities: Continuing the Conversation, Lowitja Institute, University of Melbourne, 2011 (Accessed 4 November 2019)

Emma Kowal, ‘Genetic research in Indigenous health: significant progress, substantial challenges’, Medical Journal of Australia, 2012, 197 (1): 19–20 (Accessed 4 November 2019)

Derek John Mulvaney, ‘Massola, Aldo Giuseppe (1910–1975)’, Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University (published first in hardcopy 2000) (Accessed 13 August 2019)

Museums Australia, Continuing Cultures, Ongoing Responsibilities: Principles and Guidelines for Australian Museums Working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Heritage, 2005 (PDF) (Accessed 4 November 2019)

Graeme Neate, Aboriginal Land Rights Law in the Northern Territory, vol. 1, chp 7, Chippendale, NSW, Alternative Publishing Cooperative, 1989.

Repatriation (Wikipedia)

Repatriation and reburial of human remains (Wikipedia)

Repatriation of cultural material: Shane Simpson, Collections Law: Legal issues for Australian Archives, Galleries, Libraries, and Museums, 2009, Chapter 12: ‘Repatriation of cultural material’

Royal BC Museum, Indigenous Repatriation Handbook, (prepared by Jisgang Nika Collison, Sdaahl K’awaas Lucy Bell and Lou-ann Neel), 2019 (PDF)

The Report of the Working Group on Human Remains (Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre and Natural History Museum London)

United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

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