Vincent Lingiari

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The people of the Aboriginal tribe Gurindji didn’t have the same rights as normal white people. These people were working in the Northern Territory at cattle stations. A guy called Vincent Lingiari had been working at the cattle station since he was 12.


He never learned to read or write. English wasn’t his first language. He was the elder of the Gurindji people and Vincent Lingiari stood up for what was right. Vincent Lingiari lead 200 Gurindji people to protest to get their land back. But the strike was unsuccessful. But soon support came from all over Australia.


Pretty soon Vincent Lingiari requested that 500 square miles would be returned to the Gurindji people. He also requested that a school would be built, clean water and electricity. But this request was denied by the government.


9 years later a new Prime Minister was elected and gave a speech to congratulate the Gurindji people for their victory of protesting for 9 years. The name of the Prime minister was Gough Whitlam. He used this issue as part of his campaign.


When they handed the land back to the Gurindji people Whitlam picked up a bit of the earth and sprinkled it in Vincent Lingiari. He then replied “Were all mates now.”

So that was the story of Vincent Lingiari and the Gurindji people taking back their land. This happened in the 1960s.


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