Dhakiyarr Wirrpanda

Dhakiyarr Wirrpanda (c.1900-34?) was a leader of the Dhayyi-speaking people of north-eastern Arnhem Land. During a confrontation on Woodah Island on 1 August 1933, he killed Constable Albert Stewart McColl. His conviction of murder in the Supreme Court of the Northern Territory was a miscarriage of justice. After the High Court of Australia ordered his release, he disappeared, possibly murdered. Courtesy Australian Dictionary of Biography

Events

8 November 1934

First Indigenous High Court case

Dhakiyarr Wirrpanda, a Yolngu elder and Arnhem Land leader, is charged with the murder of policeman Albert McColl. Dhakiyarr is sentenced to death, but his case draws national and international attention. He appeals to the High Court, which overturns the sentence, affirming the right of Indigenous people to a fair trial in Australian courts.

TAGS

Aboriginal Australians involved in the Caledon Bay murders, Arnhem Land.