Over the years as more people arrived at the new settlement, they began to miss their relatives and their country so much, they decided to walk the 600 kms back to Yuendumu. Welfare rounded them up and trucked them back to Hooker Creek again but they walked back to Yuendumu a second time. As time went on, another attempt was made and even though their spiritual homeland remained to the south, the people decided to stay and when children were born, they started to call the place home. Hooker creek ceased to be a welfare settlement in the 1970s and the Lajamanu Council was the first community Government council to be formed in the Northern Territory.
Thursday, June 30, 2011
Is Aboriginal Intervention Working?
Abraham Cook and family
The community of Yuendumu sits on the edge of the Tanami Desert and has a population of approximately 800 people. It’s a long way from anywhere and its a dry area - no alcohol is allowed here and you must have a permit to visit.
In 1948 the Native Affairs Branch of the Federal Government needed to establish another Aboriginal Reserve because Yuendumu was suffering a severe drought and becoming overcrowded as more people from outlying areas came into the settlement. They decided on Catfish, around 600 miles north of Yuendumu, because it had a permanent waterhole. The government ordered that 25 Warlpiri be taken by truck to Catfish but they camped for the night at Hooker Creek, about 35 miles from Catfish, and when they discovered that the creek was flowing and there was a bore, they decided to settle there instead.
Hooker Creek in the wet