This paper reports on collaborative research by a team of linguists, musicologists, elders, educators and young people from the multilingual Indigenous community of Warruwi (South Goulburn Island, Northern Territory, Australia). A key aim of the various projects has been to make recordings available to the community and to equip and empower community members to be involved in the documentation and to control how old and new recordings are used.
In this paper, we report on the repatriation of archival recordings of language and song at Warruwi and discuss how the Warruwi community uses these recordings—and more recent recordings by the research team—for maintenance or revitalisation purposes. Different perspectives will be provided by various members of the community. We demonstrate the need for researchers to have ongoing discussions with community members to inform collaborative research and to ensure communities are empowered to have control over recorded materials and determine priorities for ongoing documentation and revitalisation projects.