The 74-year-old fighter for native rights has since passed away following a prolonged illness. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, he was a key figure in Australia’s struggle for ancestral land rights.
Who was Yunupingu?
In the Yirrkala Bark Petitions of 1963, Yunupingu devoted most of his life to defending the rights of his people.
He was born in 1948 on an island in Melville Bay, in the northern territory of Gunyangara. Yunupingu became prominent after participating in the Gove land rights case and ultimately becoming successful.
The Gove land rights dispute concerned the land purchase on the Gove peninsula that would later become the side of the Nabalco mine.
He got an Order of Australia medal in 1985, and the University of Melbourne gave him an honorary doctor of law in 2015. It was the institution’s highest academic honor.
How did aboriginal rights activists die?
The elder of the aboriginal rights campaign, Yunupingu, died at 74. After a long illness, he passed away in his native East Arnhem Land.
He was the head of the Gumutj tribe and a proud young man. Also, he served as the Northern Land council’s long-time chairman. After his efforts in the Ranger uranium mine and Kakadu National Park, he was awarded Australian of the Year.
The Prime Minister of Australia, Anthony Albanese, also paid tribute to him on Monday saying that the nation has lost a national treasure. He called him a leader and statesman who was a remarkable member of a remarkable family.
Remembering the late Gumatj clan leader
His followers, family members, and relatives paid their tributes to the trailblazing aboriginal rights activist. His daughter Binmila Yunupingu stated that her father would be remembered for his leadership among his peers and his unwavering support for the Yolngu and all Australian Aboriginal people.
Many of the other people who knew him remembered him, saying that he lived his entire life surrounded by the dish sound of the Bilma, Yidaki, and the Manikay.
He was born on his land, lived all his life on his land, and died on his land, he was content with the knowledge that his land was secure.
According to his daughter, Yunupingu was a man who was driven by a vision for the future of his land, his nation, and the people.