There are seven indigenous communities in the Groote Archipelago. The Anindilyakwa people primarily reside in Angurugu and Umbakumba which are located on Groote Eylandt, and Milyakburra which is located on Bickerton Island. The four additional satellite communities are located close to mainstream services and exist for culturally significant reasons. These include: 4 Mile, Malkala, Little Paradise, and Bartalumba Bay. There are also a number of homeland centres or outstations associated with these communities as listed below.
Cultural Centres have been established in Angurugu, Umbakumba and Milyakburra. Read more about them on our Preserving Culture page.
The Angurugu township has a population of approximately 835 and is located on the banks of the Angurugu River on the mid-west coast of Groote Eylandt. Angurugu has a school, clinic, police post, supermarket, football oval, basketball court, library and Linguistics Centre.
The East Arnhem Regional Council (EARC) has an office in Angurugu, and runs a sport and recreation centre, a library, and aged care centre. A women’s centre and safe place also operates from Angurugu. The township forms the base for many island wide services and businesses, including Groote Eylandt and Bickerton Island Enterprises Civil and Construction (GCC), and a job services centre.
There are four homeland centres, or outstations, associated with Angurugu. These are Ananja, Emerald River, Leske Pools, and Yenbakwa.
The Umbakumba population is approximately 581 and is located some 65km from Alyangula by road. Umbakumba has a school, a clinic, a football oval, basketball court, supermarket, mini-mart and police post. The EARC has an office located in Umbakumba and provides sport and recreation services, a library, radio station and aged care services.
An Aboriginal Corporation, Aminjarrinja Enterprises has a strong presence in Umbakumba and has established a construction business, trepang farming business and a mini mart.
There are three homeland centres, or outstations, associated with Umbakumba, these are Thompsons Bay, Salt Lake and Six Mile.
Milyakburra has a population of about 176 residents and is situated on the central eastern part of Bickerton Island, east of the mainland, between Groote Eylandt and Blue Mud Bay.
Milyakburra is approximately one hours travel by boat from Alyangula and is normally serviced by a barge into South Bay on a fortnightly basis. Milyakburra is more usually accessed by air, and has had a sealed all-weather airstrip since 2009, which is able to accommodate twin-engine aircraft.
Milyakburra has a school, clinic, women’s centre, supermarket and basketball court.
A recently completed cyclone shelter provides a safe place for residents during a major event, and will also be utilised as a cultural centre, office and training facility.
Construction will commence in 2021 on a Primary Boarding College which will be attended by children form across the Archipelago. The proposed Boarding School will support culture, language and leadership through formal education delivery utilising a bilingual curriculum. For more information regarding this project, click here.
Residents of Milyakburra receive other services, including police and additional health services, via regular visits to Bickerton Island. An Aboriginal Corporation, established by the Wurramara clan called Lagulalya Aboriginal Corporation (LAC) has a strong presence in Milyakburra, and has established visiting officers accommodation and a business centre, as well as running the supermarket and municipal services.