1978 Australian of the Year Aboriginal Leader and Land Rights Advocate
DOB: 1 / Jan / 1948
From: Northern Territory
Galarrwuy Yunupingu is a Gamatj man of the Yolngu people. He was educated at the Yirrkala Mission School and helped his father draft the famous Bark Petition of 1963. Subsequently, Yunupingu was the court interpreter for the unsuccessful Gove Land Rights Case. He was elected chairman of the Northern Land Council in 1977 and played a key role in negotiations surrounding the Ranger Uranium Mine. He was not opposed to mining as long as it was conducted on the traditional owners’ terms, with fair distribution of profits and respect for land. Galarrwuy is the current Chairman of the Yothu Yindi Foundation Board and has held and continues to hold numerous positions on committees and organisations where he can share his wide experience with other Australians and promote the aspirations of his people.