John Danalis was doing a teacher training course at university, as an older student, and decided to take a unit called Indigenous Writing. During one seminar he revealed that he had grown up with an Aboriginal skull (nicknamed 'Mary') on the family mantelpiece, a gift from his uncle to his collector father. The horrified reaction of his fellow students caused John to ask a few questions - where did his uncle find it, who was 'Mary' (a man, as it turned out), and was there a group that might want to claim the skull. By a series of amazing coincidences - almost as if some spirit was driving events - and thanks to his own faith and determination, John made connections with people who could help him in his quest, with the result that Mary was ceremonially handed over to the rightful owners, the Wamba Wamba people of northern Victoria, and later buried in Wamba Wamba country.
Author: Danalis, John