Natalie Ahmat visits 'Jinparra' - old Wave Hill Station - and walks on her grandmother's country for the very first time.
By
Natalie Ahmat

23 Aug 2016 - 11:41 AM  UPDATED 24 Aug 2016 - 12:28 PM

Wave Hill - located about 600 kilometres south of Darwin- is an important place in Australia's history.

It was here at the old Wave Hill cattle station that Vincent Lingiari and a group of Gurindji stockman staged their famous walk off on 23 August 1966, in protest over poor wages and inhumane treatment.

 

But Wave Hill is also an important place in my family's story... It's the place my great-grandmother, Polly, was born in 1895.

"My nanna and great Uncle were taken away as part of the Stolen Generations, meaning I grew up knowing very little about this side of my cultural ancestry and heritage."

Travelling to Kalkarindji to cover the Gurindji Freedom Day festival for NITV this week was the first time I've had the opportunity to come to my great grandmothers country.

Like so many other First Nations people in this country, my nanna, Gladys and great Uncle Alec were taken away as part of the Stolen Generations, meaning I grew up knowing very little about this side of my cultural ancestry and heritage.

Uncle Maurie Japarte Ryan has known me my whole life.

An activist, teacher, and self confessed stirrer, he's the former chair of the Central Land Council and is running as an independent in the seat of Stuart in the upcoming Northern Territory election.

But above all else he's a proud Gurindji and Malngin man... And he agreed to take me up to 'Jinparra' - old Wave Hill Station - to learn about its history, show me some of the significant sites and help me fill in some of the gaps in my knowledge.

You can watch my story on 'The Point with Stan Grant' tonight at 9pm.