Dhakiyarr Wirrpanda
Uncommon Lives - from the National Archives of Australia

Appeal for Justice Dhakiyarr Wirrpanda

In a nutshell

Dhakiyarr Wirrpanda, a Yolngu elder from northeast Arnhem Land, was found guilty of the murder of a white policeman and sentenced to death in 1934. An appeal to the High Court made this the first case of an Aboriginal Australian to be heard in that court. Dhakiyarr's story is revealed in the records of Australian governments and in the account told by his descendants.

Indigenous Australians are advised that this website includes images or names of people now deceased.

What's inside

  • The case – investigate records of Dhakiyarr's case from the High Court, the Residency of the Administrator in Darwin, Australia's High Commission in London, and many more
  • Reform – discover how Dhakiyarr's pivotal case focused national and international attention on the plight of Aboriginal Australians and became a catalyst for change in public policy, court process and the law
  • People – public servants, politicians and protestors who feature in the government records, and the Olman's story as told by the Wirrpanda family
20 October 2004