In 1988, Prime Minister Bob Hawke made a historic visit to the Barunga Festival in the Northern Territory.

It was an opportunity for the Australian leader to focus attention on our country and culture and for Aboriginal people to have our voices heard on our own soil.

Jawoyn chief executive officer John Berto was the executive officer for the Central Land Council at the time.

“A lot of people from all around the Territory but also around the nation, Aboriginal people and non-Aboriginal people, came to the festival,” Mr Berto says.

It was a huge gathering. There was a lot of bunggul, a lot of dancing going on. It was very special.

“There was a feeling of excitement in knowing that the Prime Minister was to show up at this festival and announce a treaty.”

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