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Wrap Me Up in Paperbark (1999)


The family of a Gurindji woman work to have her remains returned to her traditional country after she was buried in Larrakia country.

Curator’s notes

Speedy McGinness negotiated with the authorities as well as his family to have the remains of his mother Kingarli exhumed and reburied in her traditional country. Kingarli, who passed away in 1954, was taken from Mundaluk to Darwin and placed in an institution for half-caste children.

Speedy is Kingarli’s youngest son. He does not have any memory of his mother, but works together with his sister, Kathy Mills, to persuade the family to allow their mother’s remains to be moved. Kingarli had many names – Catfish Judy, Polly and later Violet McGinness – and her family still live on her traditional land and await her return to Gurindji territory.

At the heart of this documentary is the Indigenous rights to land, the original denial of which resulted in the forcible removal of Kingarli from her homeland. The result is a struggle to reclaim her remains and return her to the country and people from whom she was taken.