Symbolic Objects: The Declaration Bell

Read the backstory on the ABC The Drum. Then read Lindsay Murdoch in The Age on Saturday, then Bob Gosford: “Yesterday Geoff Scott, CEO of the NSW Aboriginal Land Council made a gift to the Alyawarr people that was both symbolic and ironic and will ring a loud and clear rallying call to the Alyawarr people who just a few months ago walked off the literal cess-pit that the Ampilitawatja township had become after years of neglect from all levels of Government.

Geoff Scott gave the Alyawarr people a bright and shiny brass bell inscribed with the following message:

This Declaration Bell is presented to the Elders and families of the Alyawarra Nation by the New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council on February 14, 2010 in recognition of their principled walk-off and continuing fight to uphold their land rights, culture and heritage. May it ring for justice and change.

Banjo Morton and Frank Holmes with the Alyawarr Declaration BellBanjo Morton and Frank Holmes with the Alyawarr Declaration Bell
P.S. I have to say (it’s been drawn to my attention) that it’s by no means clear for whom the bell tolls to whom the Declaration Bell addresses its message: the Federal or the Northern territory Government, or, for that matter, local administrators? Who is primarily responsible for the mess that is Ampilitawatja?


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