Collecting practices in museums around the world have evolved over time, reflecting changing community attitudes. Between the 1870s and 1970s, Queensland Museum Network acquired a number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Ancestral Remains, Burial Goods and Secret and/or Sacred Objects without consent or due regard to traditional lore and custom.
For Aboriginal Peoples and Torres Strait Islanders, the return of Ancestral Remains is a vital step in fulfilling cultural and spiritual obligations to care for and to bury their dead. The Australian and Queensland Governments recognise and value the importance of repatriation and are committed to ensuring that repatriation is supported at a State and Federal level.
Today, Queensland Museum Network strives to play a key role in fostering respect for and recognition of Aboriginal Peoples and Torres Strait Islanders in the broader Queensland community. Queensland Museum currently cares for Ancestral Remains, Burial Goods and Secret and/or Sacred Objects on behalf of communities, in a secured facility with restricted access. We actively work with communities throughout the measured and sometimes complex process of repatriation.
The Queensland Museum Repatriation Fund
The Queensland Museum Repatriation Fund provides funding for Queensland Museum Network to partner with communities to repatriate Ancestral Remains, Burial Goods and Secret and/or Sacred Objects to their community of origin. Importantly, it also assists Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities by providing financial and administrative resources to co-ordinate community gatherings and ceremonial requirements necessary to complete the repatriation process, augmenting existing Australian Government funding.
How you can help
Repatriation is a vehicle for healing and justice. The cultural and spiritual benefits of bringing Ancestors home should not be underestimated. With your support, we can continue to identify and establish provenance of Ancestral Remains, in order to return them to Country, so that in accordance with custom and lore, their spirits may continue their journeys.
Please consider helping us with this important work by making a donation to the Queensland Museum Repatriation Fund - all contributions make a real difference.
Donate to the Repatriation Fund