Wave Hill

is a cattle station situated about 700 kms south of Darwin in the Northern Territory, Australia.

The issue of Aboriginal land rights was first brought to national attention in 1966, when 200 Gurindji stockmen, house servants and their families who worked at Wave Hill, walked off this cattle station demanding better pay and conditions.

This strike, led by Vincent Lingiari, came about after twenty years of struggle by the Gurindji people as they tried to gain control of their traditional lands and establish their own cattle station.

After the Gurindji walked away from Wave Station, they moved to Wattle Creek where in 1967 they petitioned the Governor-General, claiming 1295 square kilometres of land near Wave Hill. Their claim was rejected.

However, in 1975 the Gurindji won a lease for their land as well as a further 90 square kilometres of land which was given to them by Lord Vestey, the owner of Wave Hill Cattle Station. This land and Wattle Creek was formally signed over to the Gurindji in 1985.

The decision was an important milestone in the land rights struggle because this land, now known as Dagaragu, became the first Aboriginal community owned and managed cattle station. It is still owned and managed by the Murramulla Gurindji Company today.

Evening at Wave Hill

Commemoration by the Gurindji of the 1966 strike at Wave Hill

Articles About The Gurindji Strike
From Little Things Big Things Grow
Teachers might like to find a copy of this Paul Kelly Song which tells the story of the Gurindji's struggle

Stage 3 unit

Aboriginal Sites