It’s an “incredible” feeling for Aboriginal Heritage Officer Racquel Kerr to have seen Dja Dja Wurrung objects returned to Dja Dja Wurrung Country.
One hundred and fifty years have passed since the objects were taken from the Dja Dja Wurrung people and sold to the Burke Museum.
This year the objects made their way back to the Dja Dja Wurrung country, and the ownership of the Djaara people.
Burke Museum made the commitment in 2013 to return the objects to the Djarra people.
In September the objects, including shields, boomerangs and a woven basket, were brought back to Dja Dja Wurrung country.
Ms Kerr oversaw the transfer of the objects between Beechworth and Bendigo.
“Having them returned back and having them returned to traditional country is almost like a piece of the puzzle that fits back in with revitalisation of our culture and who we are as Dja Dja Wurrung people,” Ms Kerr said.
“When we talk about connection to country its something that’s quite spiritual, it’s intangible.
“Seeing the objects, and being able to hold them, knowing that our ancestors created these, they used them, brings back home that physical reality of a culture that’s been continuing for over 40,000 years on Dja Dja Wurrung country.”
Repatriation was a conversation which began over 20 years ago.
Dja Dja Wurrung Group CEO Rodney Carter remembers that at the time he was working with the Department of Arts and Museum Victoria who sent a roving curator to the Burke Museum to help catalogue their collections.
“They were really proactive about wanting to repatriate the objects that were connected to us,” Mr Carter said.
“It’s not the end of the story, but part of the story is now us doing the loan to the City of Greater Bendigo to the art gallery, and having those on country, and now wanting to exhibit those.”
On Saturday the objects will be on display at the Bendigo Art Gallery from Saturday until November.
Have you signed up to the Bendigo Advertiser's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in central Victoria.