The Aboriginal Memorial consists of 200 hollow log coffins from central Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory and is one of the most significant Indigenous works of art in the Gallery’s history. It was created in 1987–88 by some 43 Aboriginal artists from Ramingining and the surrounding area. Each pole represents a year of European occupation and together they stand as a memorial to all the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who lost their lives during the colonial occupation in Australia from 1788 to 1988.
The path through the installation represents the Glyde River in central Arnhem Land. The poles are located along the river according to their specific homeland.