Gunyungarra – also known as Ski Beach this is the third largest town in the region after Nhulunbuy and Yirrkala. A seaside community looking West across Melville Bay.

Homeland Centre(s)

Gunyungarra – also known as Ski Beach this is the third largest town in the region after Nhulunbuy and Yirrkala. A seaside community looking West across Melville Bay.

Biranybirany – a coastal hamlet on a rise above a long beach meeting the shallow waters of Caledon Bay adjacent to the outflow of a river system with rainforest on one side and wetlands on the other.

Dhanaya – a small village on the sandy Western shore of Port Bradshaw near an extensive mangrove lined estuary.

Bawaka – facing Dhanaya on the eastern side of Wurmarri (Port Bradshaw) rock outcrops, rainforest and sand in front of a paperbark swamp.

Matamata – a town lining its airstrip facing towards Inglis Island across the Nalwarung Straits. Paperbark swamp and rock and mud mangrove coastline.

Yinyikay – a small remote community at the mouth of the massive Arnhem Bay which is rich in marine resource.

Group Rrayun, Yarrwidi, Dulpuyngu (or query Rrakpala for the lot)

Language Dhuwalandja

Surname(s) Yunupingu, Mununggurritj, Burarrwanga

Spiritual Themes

Gurtha (fire) – an ancestral bushfire spreads from estate to estate. The domestic hearth nurtures whilst the power of incandescent rage defends and transforms. Crocodile, Dugong, Quail, Bandicoot and others are all linked with this power.

Mangatharra – sunset, scrubfowl, anchors, flags and Bayini (a female spirit) are woven in with Macassan contact history in ceremonial life.

Ganbulapula – is an ancestral hero whose law is linked to renewal ceremony, yams, fruitbats, red kangaroo, cockatoo, dog, kingfish, larrakitj and the Garma Festival site of Gulkula.

Lightning snake – Birimbira is linked with clouds and saltwater.

Yellow ochre – is linked with the Ganiny a sacred sceptre.

Modern History

Munggurrawuy Yunupingu is a giant in the recent history of Yolngu. He fathered many important leaders such as Galarrwuy, long time NLC chair, nationally significant land rights crusader and Indigenous political leader; and Mandawuy, co-founder of Yothu Yindi and bicultural education activist. Each of these men were honoured as Australians of the Year. He was an artist, a visionary and a political leader who established Gunyungarra as an independent town and resisted the destruction of Yolngu wellbeing by the bauxite miners. His daughter Gulumbu is a world famous artist and healer. Other important Gumatj include Nanakiya Mununggurritj and Djalalingba Yunupingu were instrumental in establishing the Dhimurru Land Management Corporation which pioneered Indigenous land care and conservation. Timmy Burarrwanga pioneers Indigenous tourism in the region. Bununggu Yunupingu fathered two significant Gumatj artists, Miniyawany and Yalpi.