• Media Release

Statement on the passing of Yunupingu

Australia has lost an important leader today.

The mining industry acknowledges his family in this time of sadness.

Yunupingu’s leadership in the pursuit of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples Land Rights, the implementation of Native Title and greater self-determination for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people was vital to the Australia we know today.  Yunupingu’s significant contribution to advancing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s self-determination includes being at the forefront of the Yirrkala Bark Petitions, the Gove Land Rights Case, the Barunga Statement, the NT Land Rights Act, and most recently a Voice to Parliament.

Yunupingu’s vision for his own people was the creation of Gulkula bauxite mine, a Yolngu owned and operated mining company which was the first for any Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people in Australia. With a stated mission to empower Yolngu people through managing resources of the land to advance economic and social development opportunities of education, training and employment.

As a leader, Yunupingu forged an approach that kept steadfast in traditional values while enabling the Yolngu to navigate modern ideas. By walking in two worlds, Yunupingu shared his culture with all Australians to forge a meaningful reconciliation in the modern Australia.  His is a legacy that will continue to be significant for generations to come.

The MCA looks to his contribution to continue building greater partnership opportunities between the minerals industry and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.