Our Peoples’ responsibilities to our Ancestors

liwik nugal-nganjin marram-nganjin dadbagi-k

dudandun nugal-nganjin marram-nganjin dadbagi-k

biik nugal-nganjin marram-nganjin dadbagi-k yumaa-djerri-ngat

In the Taungurung language, this means:

"Our Ancestors we take care of,
Our beliefs we take care of,
Our Country we take care of,
We share with everyone."

Our Old People and Sacred Objects were taken without consent or ceremony. Whilst they remain in a state of damning exile from Country, our communities cannot rest nor can they bear the burden of their responsibilities to return their Ancestors home and Sacred Objects to Communities.

Council has a fundamental responsibility to support Traditional Owners in the custodianship and sensitive repatriation of Ancestors to Country and Sacred Objects to Communities. Council will continue to support and advocate for Traditional Owners to lead the conversation on the repatriation of Ancestors and Sacred Objects currently in Council’s care.


Strategic Actions

Empowering Traditional Owners to

care for their Ancestors and Sacred Objects

Caring for Ancestors by

  • working with Traditional Owners to repatriate Ancestors and Sacred Objects
  • implementing the Victorian Ancestral Remains Strategic Framework
  • promoting the responsibilities of Traditional Owners for Ancestors and Sacred Objects

Respecting Culture by

enacting culturally safe protocols for repatriation of Ancestors and Sacred Objects


"We have a cultural responsibility to return our Old People to their Country for ceremony and burial. Until this is done, we cannot rest or heal."

Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Council, December 2020, Melbourne