Wadeye

Deputy Mayor Andrew Brown and Councillors Wally Minjin and Mark Martin represent Wadeye and surrounding outstations - the Thamurrurr/ Pindi Pindi Ward which has a population of approximately 2,500.

Wadeye, also known as Port Keats, is one of Australia's largest remote Indigenous communities located approximately 420kms south west of Darwin. It is accessed along the Daly River Road which is not sealed from the Daly River crossing and can only be accessed by road during the Dry Season (May to October). Outside of this time, access is only possible by light aircraft (daily) or coastal barge (weekly). There is a sealed airstrip accessible throughout the year with automated lighting for night time landings. Flying time from Darwin to Wadeye is approximately 45 minutes.

History

The township was originally founded as a Roman Catholic mission station by Father Richard Docherty in 1935 at Werntek Nganayi (Old Mission), and subsequently moved 14km inland to the community's present location. Due to the opportunities that the mission provided for the tribes in the area, there were fights between tribes trying to get into the mission as there was limited space and facilities to support a large group of people. Father Docherty had to turn some people away until the mission's facilities and gardens could provide for large numbers of people. The mission was populated by people from seven different language groups and more than 20 clans. The Australian Government managed the mission until the late 1970's. In 1978, local government was handed to the Kardu Numida Council and the community was renamed Wadeye.

Living in West Daly

The new West Daly Regional Council (WDRC) covers 14,000 square kilometres and has a population of more than 3000 throughout the communities of Wadeye (Port Keats), Peppimenarti (Peppi) and Palumpa. The roads to the communities are cut by flooding...