Sixteen years ago, on 24 November 1999, a tragedy rocked the lives of families from Mornington Island, Bentinck Island and Forsyth Island.

A Cessna 206 (registered VH-XGR) was conveying passengers from Mornington Island to Normanton for a Land Council Meeting to discuss the High Court’s ruling against the removal of a mooring buoy that disrespected the cultural significance to the Kaiadilt people of Bentinck Island.

Sadly the plane crashed due to horrific weather conditions, resulting in the tragic loss of pilot Captain Andrew Anthonisz aged 21 and passengers Nelson Gavenor aged 63, Andrew Marmies aged 60, Olive Loogatha aged 46, Graham Wilson aged 34, Gavin Wilson aged 19.

All were respected Elders, leaders and future leaders of our community, who lost their lives advocating for Native Title rights to land and sea for all our peoples.

These are the rights our region enjoys today; preserved for our future generations.

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