Aboriginal remains, believed to have been taken from Australia 150 years ago, will be repatriated from a German museum next week.
A Department of Communications and the Arts spokeswoman confirmed the remains of three people would be repatriated from the Naturmuseum Senckenberg in Frankfurt.
"Negotiations are complex and depend on the nature of each case," she said.
"The timing is subject to a number of factors including consultation with Australian Indigenous communities, agreement from the institutions for the unconditional return of the ancestors, and other international governance and legislative processes."
A delegation of government and Indigenous representatives will fly to Germany this weekend for a handover ceremony that will take place on March 23 at the Australian Embassy.
One of the representatives is Bundjalung woman and anthropologist Robyn Bancroft who will be helping to return a skull to the Clarence Valley in northern New South Wales.
Ms Bancroft said it was an honour to be a part of the repatriation.
"We, as Aboriginal people of Australia, have a responsibility to bring Aboriginal ancestral and cultural remains home from overseas because in the future our children and grandchildren will be requesting this information and will be more actively involved on a global scale than what we are doing today," she said.
"What a privilege to be able to bring back our ancestors to their home country.
"I firmly believe in it and would like to see more and more returned home when they are found."
Ms Bancroft said research strongly suggested the skull was taken from the Upper Clarence region around 1865 by German immigration agent Wilhelm Kirchner.
"It seems logical to me that Kirchner, who was back and forth to Germany seeking migrants to come out, had something to do with all of this," Ms Bancroft said.
"On the Clarence River there were about eight massacre sites and the biggest one came from around the Orara River-Copmanhurst area.
"In a report by the original consultant anthropologist he said that it came from the Upper Clarence and this seems logical."
It is believed the other two remains to be repatriated came from the Atherton Tablelands in Queensland.
Ms Bancroft said there had been no scientific testing of the remains.
"We don't know whether it's male, female, adult or child," she said.
She said the remains would be moved to the Australian Museum in Sydney while local Aboriginal land councils were consulted about funding and arrangements to return them to their home communities.
The Department of Communications and the Arts spokeswoman said they worked with Indigenous communities, governments, agencies, and institutions to return Australian Indigenous ancestral remains to their communities of origin.
She said the Australian Government had supported the return of more than 1,400 ancestral remains to Australia from overseas, including the United Kingdom, United States, Czech Republic, Germany, Sweden, Netherlands, Austria and Ireland.
Topics:indigenous-aboriginal-and-torres-strait-islander, aboriginal, aboriginal-language, library-museum-and-gallery, community-and-society, grafton-2460, copmanhurst-2460, atherton-4883, sydney-2000, germany