IT WAS a moment cloaked in history and choked in emotion.
At the weekend, on a remote property outside Hillston, the largest swathe of land ever bought back as protected Indigenous land was officially handed over.
The Mawonga Divestment Celebration on Saturday saw a host of VIPs, including former federal MP Peter Garrett, bear witness to history.
Winangakirri Aboriginal Corporation chairman Lawrence Clark admitted his emotions got the best of him for a brief moment.
The milestone was the culmination of a decade’s work from the Winangakirri Aboriginal Corporation and wider community to buyback 22,000 hectares of land north of Hillston.
The Mawonga property is now the largest declared Indigenous protected area in South Eastern Australia.
“It’s one of those events that some of us will attend maybe once in a lifetime,” Mr Clark said.
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