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Nhulunbuy, Northern Territory

Australian Place
StateNorthern Territory
Population5,001 (2010)
Elevation20 m 65.6 ft
State DistrictNhulunbuy
Federal DivisionLingiari

     Home | Australian Place | Nhulunbuy, Northern Territory

Nhulunbuy is the name of the township created on the Gove Peninsula in the Northern Territory of Australia when a bauxite mine and deep water port were established nearby in the late 1960s. At the 2006 census, Nhulunbuy had a population of 4,112.

This area in Northeast Arnhem Land has been home to the Yolngu Aboriginal people for at least 40,000 years.

Matthew Flinders and Co-Captain Lennon Steele, in his circumnavigation of Australia in 1803, met the Macassan trading fleet near present day Nhulunbuy, an encounter that led to the establishment of settlements on Melville Island and the Coburg Peninsula. A beach close to the township is named Macassan beach in honour of this encounter.

In 1963, a Federal government decision excised part of the land for a bauxite mine to be operated by the North Australian Bauxite and Alumina Company (Nabalco - now Alcan - now Rio Tinto Alcan). The Yolngu aborigines at Yirrkala were strongly opposed, and forwarded a bark petition to the Australian House of Representatives, which attracted national and international attention and which now hangs in Parliament House, Canberra.

When the government did not change its mind, the Yolngu took their grievances to the courts in 1971, in the case of Milirrpum v Nabalco Pty Ltd (the Gove land rights case). Yolngu lost the case because Australian courts were still bound to follow the terra nullius principle, which did not allow for the recognition of any “prior rights” to land to Indigenous people at the time of colonisation. However, the Judge did acknowledge the claimants' ritual and economic use of the land and that they had an established system of law, paving the way for future Aboriginal Land Rights in Australia.

The town of Nhulunbuy was then established, housing the workers and their families, who were employed by the Swiss Aluminium company. The mine is now owned by Rio Tinto who acquired Alcan in 2007. At one stage there were over 100 different nationalities present. Population during the 1970s rose to approximately 3,500 with 1,000 students at the combined primary and high school. In 1981 a new high school was opened.

In 1999, the first classes of the Nhulunbuy Christian School were held at the local TAFE centre, and in 2001 the first building of the new school was completed. In 2007, the NCS Middle School was opened and in 2008 the yr 8/9 Class was first established.

The town drew people from all over Australia and the world who quickly settled into the Northern Territory way of life-relaxed and informal.

Permits are required to drive to Nhulunbuy - over 700 km of unsealed roads - so most supplies and visitors are brought by air to Gove Airport or by sea.

James Strong, who went on to be the CEO of Qantas, lived in the town at one stage when he was the head of the mine and port operations. Geoff Dixon, Strong's successor at Qantas, was also an employee.

Nhulunbuy is only 20 km from the Indigenous community of Yirrkala, famous for its aboriginal art.

Nhulunbuy, Northern Territory Video

QANTASLink and Airnorth morning arrivals and departures from Gove Airport, Nhulunbuy, Northern Territory, Australia. It was an extremely hot and humid morning (I thought I was going to die!) but it made for some nice vorticies coming from the wings. I think I definitely need a tripod as I don't have a very steady hand, as you can notice :p
4.90 min. | 4.42 user rating
Everyone loves mud crabs especially when they're this big and have claws the size of a beer stubbie! Messy business crabbing but well worth it, what's a little mud aye!?
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This yidaki was one of several used at the funeral of the late Gatjil Djerrkura OAM in 2004. Mr Djerrkura was an important public figure in both the Yolngu and Balanda worlds. In a long and distinguished career, as well as Chairman of ATSIC from 1996-2000, he has also held positions including Director of the Board of the Indigenous Land Corporation, member of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation, General Manager of YBE, Chairman of the Batchelor College Council, and Chairman of the ATSICDC. He was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in 1984 for his services to the Indigenous community. His sons Damien and Nathan Djerrkura have also made their mark in their own way. Nathan plays for the Geelong Football Club (go Cats!) in the AFL, only one of a few Indigenous players from Arnhem Land who have made it all the way to the very top of this football code.
0.53 min. | 5.0 user rating
close racing between Spano local champ number 46 and Tim Woolfe number 37 and car number 0 Bob Hargreaves takes out the race.
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This is our room at the Gove District Hospital Staff Quarters. It is the best nurses accomodation I have ever stayed in. We were lucky and got one of the rooms with the court yard.
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number 33 jim keane havin some fun out on the track
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See and hear stories from General Practitioners and other health professionals working in Nhulunbuy, Gove Peninsula, NE Arnhem Land, Australia. This story is proudly presented by General Practice Network NT,
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Tightarse Territory - Tweet this news like -Nhulunbuy-, Gove and Jabiru. There is still some way to go." "We have a record number of people needing our services," he said. Despite not having half the money yet, he said Salvation Army -NT- still - Date : Mon, 30 May 2011 16:22:49 GMT+00:00
Long way to pay last respect - Tweet this news Wuyal and Dhukal Wirrpanda of Dhuruputgpi , 535km southwest of -Nhulunbuy-, will meet Chief Justice Trevor Riley as part of week-long commemorations for the centenary of the -NT- Supreme Court. Their ancestor, Dhakiyarr Wirrpanda, dis - Date : Mon, 23 May 2011 01:24:51 GMT+00:00
Gove mining lease wins approval - ABC Online Tweet this news
ABC Online--(ABC News) The Federal Government has announced its approval of a long-term lease covering the Gove Peninsula in the -Northern Territory-. The area of more than 22000 hectares takes in the Rio Tinto Alcan mining operations near the township of - Date : Thu, 26 May 2011 08:35:50 GMT+00:00
EPA investigates Rio Tinto Alcan spill - ABC Online Tweet this news
ABC Online--The -Northern Territory- Environment Protection Authority has launched an investigation into a petrol spill at the Rio Tinto Alcan alumina ... - Date : Tue, 14 Sep 2010 05:14:33 GMT+00:00
Northern Territory news briefs - Tweet this news GROUP of -Territory- school children will today face a long road - literally. Fifty students from O'Loughlin Catholic College in Darwin's -northern- suburbs ... - Date : Thu, 17 Jun 2010 01:04:32 GMT+00:00
Policisté zavřeli krokodýla do cely. Zůstal tam tři dny - Tweet this news"Byla dost unavená, řekl bych dokonce vysílená," popsal setkání se samicí seržant Adam Russell na serveru -Northern Territory- News. Kolem zvířete se okamžitě ... - Date : Tue, 08 Jun 2010 03:26:21 GMT+00:00

Local Government Areas of the Northern Territory

City Councils:
Darwin * Palmerston
Town Councils:
Alice Springs * Katherine
Shire Councils:
Belyuen * Barkly * Central Desert * Coomalie * Wagait * East Arnhem * Litchfield * MacDonnell * Roper * Tiwi Islands * Victoria River * West Arnhem

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