A yarn from one of our readers remembering the Wave Hill Walk Off of 1966 led by Gurindji man, Vincent Lingiari.


Pouring of the Sand

In the territory north at a hill called Wave

The Blackfellas toiled under bondage of a slave

Never given dignity like other counterparts

The hurt of inequality burning through their hearts


The settlers had it easy as they overtook the land

And built upon the skills of the Blackfella’s hand

Lacked their own resources to manage on the station

Depending on the labour of the Gurindji nation


Up stood an uncle with some guts called Vince

Rounding up the folks in a voice to convince

To march off the job in an organised strike

For labour exploitation that had begun to spike


How they thought they’d do it in the face of retribution

Was down to Uncle Vince’s thoughtful contribution

‘Why should we be working if we aren’t getting paid?

This station would be nothing without our vital aid!’


A crooked British Barron was the centre of the battle

As he took up sacred land and filled it with his cattle

The dingoes and the kangaroos were subject to his killings

Failed to pay his workers their entitled five shillings


The state of inequality in need of proper fix

Was reason for the sudden strike of 1966

Gathered up the mob with the blessing of their peers

And entered in a protest for the next ten years


Determined to have access to a basic human right

Uncle and the mob and all continued on their fight

Rejected Barron’s lure of cash to get ‘em back on track

Decided not to budge until their land was given back


Such a genius Uncle Vince, crippled their production

Without the labour of the Blacks, stations couldn’t function

The strike taught all the cheating Lords a lesson to beware

Workers will walk off the job if treatment isn’t fair


It had become iconic, common British fashion

Pushing local mobs off land then throwing them a ration

Wrong-side business was the mode of operation

Turned the tide of public thought right across the nation


The situation came to end with pouring of the sand

The Minister from Canberra said ‘I give you back your land’

Applaud the mob that freed themselves from bondage of a slave

Their efforts were astounding and their actions very brave


In loving memory of Vince Lingiari and the Gurindji mob.

By N. Lawrence