Returning to country: The Docker River project

Returning to country: The Docker River project Book Section

Experiments in Self-Determination

  • Author(s): Long, Jeremy
  • Secondary Author(s): Peterson, Nicolas, Myers, Fred
  • Published: 2016
  • Publisher: ANU Press
  • ISBN: 9781925022902

Abstract: A short account of the return to the Petermann Ranges might begin with the stirring of interest in the Welfare Branch of the Northern Territory Administration in Darwin in 1958 and end with the arrival of Max Cartwright, the first manager, at the nascent Docker River outstation in late December 1967. I thought it more interesting to start the story earlier to illustrate how ideas about the use of Aboriginal reserves changed over time. In 1920, when the large South West or Lake Amadeus Reserve was created, it was intended to rule out any alienation of the land as well as allowing the inhabitants to continue in undisturbed occupation. Nevertheless, the Mackay Exploring Expedition, which included Dr Herbert Basedow, was allowed to traverse the range in the winter of 1926 and reported that the country was exceedingly dry but that the party had friendly contact with groups of up to 30 or 40 of the locals.

Cite this document

Suggested Citation
Long, Jeremy, 2016, Returning to country: The Docker River project, Book Section, viewed 02 December 2023,

Endnote Mendeley Zotero Export Google Scholar

Share this page

Search again