NG Media

15Ngaanyatjarra Communities

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Ngaanyatjarra Communities

15 Ngaanyatjarra Communities

NG Media is a thriving indigenous-owned media organisation supporting 15
remote communities in the Western Desert region of Western Australia.

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    Kiwirrkurra

    Considered one of the most remote locations in Australia, Kiwirrkurra was formed near a bore as a homeland for the Pintupi people in the mid 80’s. These people had been moved to Papunya in the late 1950’s and 60’s. 

    The establishment of Kintore in the 1980’s brought the Pintupi closer to their original homelands, and then on to Kiwirrkurra. The community has a store, clinic, office, women’s centre, radio transmission room, school and airstrip.

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    Patjarr

    The relatively new community of Patjarr, also known as Karilywara, with the Clutterbuck Hills as a backdrop, was established in 1992 as an outstation of Warburton. Its Pintupi residents were one of the last groups of Indigenous Australians to be contacted by non-Indigenous people in the early 1970’s and taken to the Warburton Mission. There they felt unwelcome for their traditional bush mannerisms and many left to live in fringed mining camps further out, eventually bring them to the location Patjarr now stands.

    The residents of Patjarr Community speak a either Ngaanyatjarra or Pintupi. The community has an office, store, art centre and airstrip.

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    Tjukurla

    Tjukurla was originally established as an outstation for Docker River with the placement of a bore in the early 80’s. The population grew from people moving on from Docker River, Kintore and Warakurna to Tjukurla and the community infrastructure developed. 

    In 1987 the mainly Ngaanyatjarra-speaking community became incorporated and now has a hall, store, airstrip, school, library, women’s centre, and office.

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    Warakurna

    Warakurna is located at the Western end of the picturesque Rawlinson Ranges near the Giles Meteorological Weather Station.

    Home to 180 Yarnangu people; the primary language in Warakurna is Ngaanyatjarra. It consists of a community office, store, school, clinic, women’s centre, art centre, and media centre as well as other facilities located 7km away on the Great Central Road – a health education facility, courthouse and police station, airstrip, radio transmission room and a roadhouse.

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    Wanarn

    Wanarn, also spelt Wannan, evolved from a Yarnangu campsite. It was used by the Yarnangu when they travelled on the road developed in the 1970’s to provide easier access between Warburton and Warakurna.

    The Ngaanyatjarra-speaking community was established there in the late 1980’s, becoming incorporated in 1989. Ngaanyatjarra Health manages a 15-bed respite care centre in Wanarn, which provides both low and high care and allows frail older people to remain on the NG Lands.

    The community also has its own airstrip, office, school, youth drop-in centre, football oval, radio transmission room and modern new store.

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    Tjirrkarli

    The small Ngaanyatjarra-speaking community of Tjirrkarli is located Northwest of Warburton.

    Established in the 1980’s near a bore put down by the Shell Oil Company, Tjirrkarli became an incorporated member of the Ngaanyatjarra Council in 1987 and now boasts an airstrip, hall with gymnasium equipment, women’s centre, store, school and clinic.

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    Kanpa

    The small community of Kanpa consists of a larger number of transient residents than permanent ones as many people from nearby Warburton use it as a base to hunt and camp.

    Becoming incorporated as Pira-Kata in 2006, the community boasts the Kanpa Substance Abuse Prevention and Rehabilitation Facility, which accommodates and supports young people on parole.

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    Warburton

    The largest community in the Ngaanyatjarra Lands, Warburton has also been around the longest, becoming incorporated in 1973.

    It was established as a mission settlement, directly off the Great Central Road by the United Aboriginal Missionaries in the 1930’s.  Warburton first provided the Yarnangu people with rations of blankets, tools and food so they did not need to travel to the goldfields region of Laverton for trading.

    The Ngaanyatjarra-speaking community has since developed into a thriving metropolis containing an office, store, school, community college, women’s centre, art centre church, workshop/garage, swimming pool, football oval, hall, police station, clinic, roadhouse, airstrip and radio transmission room.

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    Mantamaru (Jameson)

    Many residents of Jameson or Mantamaru as the locals know it, were educated at the Warburton Mission, which, at the relatively short distance of 125km away, allowed families to take their children from the mission during school holidays and travel between the two communities.

    The English name of Jameson is shared with the Jameson Ranges, named after an early European explorer. Mantamaru, or Parnamaru, as was the original name at the time of incorporation in 1976 can be translated into Ngaanyatjarra or Pitjantjatjarra as black (maru) ground (manta or parna), which is an accurate description of the small black stones covering the ground of the Ranges. The Ngaanyatjarra-speaking community consists of a school, office, store, hall, airstrip, women’s centre, football oval and media centre.

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    Blackstone (Papulankutja)

    Blackstone is also known as Papulankutja in the native languages. Many of the Ngaanyatjarra-speaking residents were raised on the Warburton Mission, while many of the remaining Pitjantjatjara speaking locals grew up on the Ernabella Mission over the South Australian border.

    The headquarters and camp of Southwestern Mining were located south of the Blackstone Ranges in Tollu onwards from the late 1950’s. When this was eventually abandoned, Yarnangu people transported the remaining materials to one of the bores built on the route from Ernabella into the Ngaanyatjarra region, thus developing the community of Blackstone, which became incorporated in 1976. Now the community boasts a hall, school, community library, indoor swimming pool, store, office, women’s centre, thriving art centre and a media centre.

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    Wingellina (Irrunytju)

    Wingellina, known as Irrunytju in the local language, is home to the NG Media Centre.

    Located 12 kilometres south west of the tri-state border of South Australia, Northern Territory and Western Australia, Wingellina falls 10kms on the WA side of the border in the Ngaanyatjarra Lands (but uses Central Standard Time).

    Wingellina became an incorporated community in 1976 and has been a member of Ngaanyatjarra Council since its inception in 1981. It is home to around 150 Yarnangu people who speak primarily Pitjantjatjara, with the remainder Ngaanyatjarra-speaking people. Wingellina has it’s own Community Resource Centre, airstrip, school, hall, art centre, clinic, office and store.

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    Cosmo Newberry

    The community of Cosmo Newberry has had a varied history from its origins as a settled community leased by two returned soldiers (grandfather’s of current residents) in 1920. After being used for a period by the Government as a ration depot, the United Aboriginal Mission took over its governance for the next 23 years. In 1976 it was turned over to the community to run, however over the next 11 years so many residents left it was eventually abandoned completely.

    In 1989, four families returned with the purpose of reviving the community, which was achieved when it became affiliated with the Ngaanyatjarra Council in 1994. Cosmo Newberry now has a clinic, school, hall, and store.

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    Mt Margaret

    Mount Margaret Aboriginal Community (formerly Mount Margaret Mission) is a medium-sized Aboriginal community 20 km south-west of Laverton in the Goldfields-Esperance region of Western Australia, within the Shire of Laverton.

    The site of the community that is now Mount Margaret was founded as a mission by the United Aborigines Mission in 1921, and soon drew Aboriginal people from surrounding areas. It has been independent since 1976 and has it’s own school.

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    Coonana (inactive)

    Coonana is a small Indigenous Australian community in Western Australia located 775 kilometres (482 mi) east of Perth between Kalgoorlie and Laverton in the Goldfields-Esperance region of Western Australia.

    The community is situated on the 250,000-acre (100,000 ha) pastoral lease Upurl Upurlila Ngurratja and is about 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) south of the Trans-Australian Railway line between the stations of Chifley and Zanthus.

    At the 2006 census Coonana had a population of 83, but by 2013 it had dwindled to just 1 with the former residents primarily moving to either Kalgoorlie-Boulder or Tjuntjuntjara. A number of reasons for their departure have been cited, all having a compounding and negative effect, including housing, social problems, and the steady withdrawal of essential services.

    NG Media's radio transmission in the community ceased at the same time as the electricity.

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    Tjuntjuntara

    Tjuntjuntjara Community is located in the Menzies Region of WA, 700km east of Kalgoorlie in the Great Victoria Desert. The community was established in 1988 after a water bore was drilled at the location. 

    The Tjuntjunjara community members are part of a larger group known as ‘the Spinifex People’, who were removed from their homelands (which range across the WA and SA border lands) prior to the British atomic testing at Maralinga in the 1950s and 1960’s. The community boasts a Community Resource Centre, Women’s Centre, clinic, office, store, school and airstrip.

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