About

Campaign to return the Gweagal spears to their rightful owners – the Gweagal clan of the area now known as Botany Bay

The campaign is lead by Rodney Kelley with the support of local people in Cambridge. Our first demonstration at the MAA was in June 2017 (see video below)

Rodney is a descendant of the Yuin people and the Gweagal people. He is the sixth time great-grandson of the warrior Cooman who stood on the beach when Cook landed in Botany Bay on April 29, 1770.  The Gweagal are the original Native inhabitants of Sydney’s Botany Bay Region. The Gweagal People are still alive today and have passed on the oral history of Cook’s first landing in their traditional style.

Many artefacts were taken by Cook that day including the Gweagal Shield, which has been in the UK for over 200 years. Rodney has launched a campaign to demand the repatriation of the shield from the British Museum, with the full support of the NSW Parliament. The spears at the MMA were also taken that day and their repatriation is also part of the campaign.

Press coverage

18 Nov 2016
History re-told through the Gweagal shield | Varsity
www.varsity.co.uk/culture/11380

June 17, 2017
Cambridge University refuses to return Aboriginal artifacts to Australia …
uk.reuters.com/article/uk-australia-aborigines-idUKKBN1980AA

16 Jun 2017
Aboriginal man demands Cambridge University return his ancestor’s spears
http://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/news/cambridge-news/cambridge-university-aboriginal-gweagal-spears-13195805

18 June 2017
Cambridge University Is Refusing To Return Aboriginal Artefacts Taken By Captain Cook
http://junkee.com/cambridge-aboriginal-artefacts/108799