Anindilyakwa and AIATSIS United Kingdom visit - PART II
28 August – 11 September 2023
London and Manchester UK
Once arriving in Manchester, the delegation was reunited with familiar faces from Manchester Museum. After touring the museum spaces and learning about the different collections, it was time for the ladies to view the Anindilyakwa collection. In a private room in a quiet corner of the museum, Noeleen, Maicie and Amethea were able to see the collection in person and smoke the items, preparing them to be returned to Country. It was the first time the collection was handled by Anindilyakwa community members since its arrival in Manchester – over 50 years before.
The official handover ceremony was held the following day in the Living Worlds Gallery at Manchester Museum. The full gallery space was addressed by Manchester Museum director, Esme Ward, AIATSIS CEO, Leonard Hill, Australian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Stephen Hill, UNESCO Director of Culture and Emergencies Entity, Culture Sector, Krista Pikkat and of course the Anindilyakwa delegation. Danjibana, Maicie and Amethea spoke from their hearts, accompanied by a song recorded by senior women of Groote Eylandt.
The ceremony was covered extensively by international media. The story of Dadikwakwa-kwa and accompanying objects reached more than 1.9 billion people, almost a quarter of the global population.