Wadeye (Port Keats)

Wadeye (also known as Port Keats) is a remote aboriginal community situated 420km south-west of Darwin. Wadeye is the 6th most populated town in the Northern Territory and the largest Indigenous community.

The Kardu Diminin people are the Traditional Owners (TO's) of the land on which the Wadeye township is situated. Wadeye was founded as a Roman Catholic mission in 1935, which was originally located at Werntek Nganayi (old Mission) from 1935. The town was relocated to its current location in 1938 due to the lack of water and space for an airstrip. Murin Travel and Freight provide a freight service on the passenger planes. ShoreBarge provide a fortnightly barge service.

Wadeye is only accessible by road during the dry season and is the central ‘hub’ for many outstations around the area. Once you leave Wadeye township you are on Aboriginal Land and need permission from the Traditional Owners of the land you intend on visiting / passing through next. The traditional owners of Wadeye are the Kardu Diminin mob and there are twenty different clan estates within the area. There are five languages and four different dialects spoken in Wadeye, with Murrinhpatha one of the most common.

The clans of Wadeye region have banded together to form Thamarrurr (ward). Wadeye was the initial site of where the intervention began. Generally, the community is fairly well serviced compared to most of the other remote communities. Wadeye is very gender segmented and an individual needs to be aware of this when working or visiting the community. Community members in Wadeye are passionate about football and sports in general.


View Larger Map

Nym Bunduck was the first painter in Wadeye who had international interest. He was asked by Bill Stanner, an anthropologist who had come with Richard Docherty in 1935, to produce pieces explaining traditional law, which he made after he saw a map produced by Stanner. He produced many bark paintings of the dreaming which informed Stanner's research. Today in Wadeye Mark Crocomb follows in the footsteps of Stanner collecting history and languages before they are lost. Following in the tradition of Nym Bunduck is Richard 'Skunky' Parmbuk. He is one of many artists filling the space left by Nym in Wadeye.

Design by W3Layouts | Content © 2013 Phoenix Group Co. | Sales: phone 1300 753 517, email: sales@pleasureholidays.com.au