Kimberley Land Council Rangers - Reconnecting Story, Countrymen and Ancestors with the Collection

Article | Updated 6 months ago

The Kimberley Land Council Rangers visited the Collection and Research Centre
Image copyright WA Museum

In the New Museum, the stories and perspectives of Aboriginal peoples are being shared throughout the exhibitions.  We are partnering with communities, people and organisations from around the State to share stories in the way they would like them presented.

One of the stories we are collaborating on is the way in which Aboriginal people care for Country and secure the future for their communities.   

This month a contingent of Kimberley Land Council (KLC) Rangers and Cultural Advisors visited the Collections and Research Centre in Welshpool to meet with our staff and to see the extensive collection of Kimberley cultural material.

Sandy Skeen, Elaine Riley, Mervyn Mulardy, Will Bennet, Steve Kinnane and Sheen Kitty.
Image copyright WA Museum 

The Rangers included:

  • Mervyn Mulardy, Karajarri Cultural Advisor
  • Sheen Kitty, Karajarri Ranger
  • Albert Wiggan, Bardi and Nyul Nyul Ranger
  • Elaine Riley, Bardi Jawi Oorany Ranger
  • Sandy Skeen, Gooniyandi Ranger;  and
  • Will Bennett, KLC West Kimberley Ranger Coordinator.  

The Rangers had the opportunity to explore the collection and ask questions about protocols of access, preservation, repatriation and the appropriate storage of culturally sensitive material.

Accessing collections, sharing knowledge

Mervyn and Sheen found photographs of their grandfather and grandmother in the collection.
Image copyright WA Museum

Sheen Kitty and Mervyn Mulardy were delighted to find sculptures and other cultural material created by their great-grandfather, and also images of their grandfather and grandmother recorded by German anthropologist Helmut Petri at Biyadangah (La Grange) in the 1950s.

They were able to identify family and other community members whose names had not been recorded at the time the images were made and also identify cultural material that had been created by family members.

The Gaalwa was acquired for the WA Museum in 1974.