The University of Sydney has acknowledged an ongoing commitment to the proper management and repatriation of Ancestral Remains and Culturally significant items. Since the introduction of the Policy for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Ancestral Remains and Culturally Significant Objects was introduced in 1994, this commitment has been recognised by funding a special project through the Macleay Museum, guided by an Advisory Committee appointed by the Vice-Chancellor as recommended to the Senate in December 1994.
Aims of the Project
The project aims to:
- consult with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities or nominated organisations regarding the future management of human skeletal remains and secret and sacred objects held by the University,
- ensure that the human skeletal remains and secret and sacred objects held by the University are stored in a sensitive manner, and will not be displayed to the public except with the specific permission of the relevant Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities or organisations,
- determine as far as possible, the community origins of all items held with these specific collections, will report to the relevant parties on the cultural and scientific significance of items,
- work closely with identified Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities or organisations to facilitate the return of such items in a proper and dignified manner.
Management of the Project
The project is overseen by a Deputy Vice-Chancellor or their delegate, who chairs the University Advisory Committee for the Management of Ancestral Remains and Culturally Significant Items, and managed by the Macleay Museum.
Membership includes University personnel and external Aboriginal membership from the NSW Aboriginal Land Council and Aboriginal staff of the Australian Museum.
Click here for the Macleay Museum Repatriation policy