Warakurna is nestled in the Rawlinson Ranges near the West Australian/Northern Territory border approximately 330klms west of Uluru. After families originally returned to their traditional lands, they settled closer to Docker Rive where the rockhole Warakurna was. When the community was finally established it was moved to where the Giles weather station was situated, as there was underground water to supply the communit.y (more info)
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RADIO CALL SIGN
AMS (Alpha Mike Sierra); 9303; 5070; 6950 RFDS Alice Springs
In the Ngaanyatjarraku Shire, Western Australia.
At Latitude 25 degrees, 2 min, 69 sec south
In foothills of the Rawlinson Ranges.
Community Office operates on Central Standard Time.
Giles is the official name for Warakurna airstrip.
Ngaanyatjarra Air operate regular air service from Alice Springs, Monday and Thursday.
Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) operate from Kalgoorlie as required, and for fortnightly clinics.
Warakurna - Warburton is 218 kilometres gravel. Great Central Road. Four Wheel Drive in wet conditions.
Road maintenance is the responsibility of Ngaanyatjarraku Shire.
COMMUNITY, FAMILY AND WOMEN'S FACILITIES
Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Ngaanyatjarra Women's Council, Alice Springs, provide funds for a part-time Women's Co-ordinator at Warakurna.
Community women also operate a child nutrition programme, which is part funded by a Women's Council grant and part funded by the Education Department for provision of nutritional school lunches.
AGED PEOPLE'S FACILITIES
COMMUNITY FIRE SERVICE
COMMUNITY AMBULANCE SERVICE
COMMUNITY EMERGENCY EVACUATION
COMMUNITY MECHANICAL WORKSHOP/DEPOT
The Warakurna Roadhouse (community-owned) has a full motor vehicle Workshop facility and operates a fuel retail agency. Four (4) community people to be employed under CDEP Works Programme.
COMMUNITY FUEL DEPOT
Avgas storage of 15000 litres at airstrip is available from the Roadhouse staff by arrangement. Underground storage.
All older-type cladding houses are fully insulated, lined and fitted-out internally. All are fully fitted for electrical services and plumbing facilities.
COMMUNITY RECREATIONAL FACILITIES
The community is urgently looking for more artefacts sales outlets to provide income for the many community people who are regularly producing quality art and artefacts.
The Council Executive consists of the chairman, liaison officer, and at least 3 members who meet as necessary to consider community matters/business.
An Annual General Meeting of the community must be held each year in September to consider the Council's financial report and to elect councillors.
Chairman, liaison officer and at least 4 members attend monthly Ngaanyatjarra Council meetings. These Council meetings are held at least once each year at individual communities.
Community Development Advisor (CDA) is responsible to the Community Council (Governing Committee) for the day to day management of Warakurna Community.
COMMUNITY ADMINISTRATION SERVICES
The community office has a full time office manager/book-keeper's position.
Three (3) community people are employed in the community office.
Ngaanyatjarra Services, Alice Springs, provide accounting and financial management assistance to the community.
Ngaanyatjarra Air: regular twice weekly air service from Alice Springs.
Ngaanyatjarra Agency and Transport Service (NATS): provides a Perth-based buying service for the community store.
Ngaanyatjarra Health Service: provides a community clinic and nursing staff - 2 nursing sisters. Dental clinic, resident dentist. Mobile dental surgery.
Resident dentist located at Warakurna. Visits communities throughout Ngaanyatjarra Lands. Has mobile dental surgery to service all communities.
Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) Doctor from Kalgoorlie makes fortnightly visits to Warakurna. Does fortnightly clinics. Emergency evacuations are done by RFDS Kalgoorlie.
Environmental Health Officer from Alice Springs makes regular monthly inspections of the Community.
COMMUNITY SCHOOL FACILITIES
Pre-primary school 15 students 1 teacher
An Aboriginal Liaison Officer is employed.
Total: 58 students 6 teachers
Two high school students from the Community are attending high school in Adelaide, South Australia.
COMMUNITY TRAINING PROGRAMMES
LAW/ORDER AND JUSTICE SERVICES
Police presence is currently a weekly police patrol from Laverton (750 kilometres).
There are no community wardens, although this is a planned future development.
There is an Aboriginal Liaison Officer (ALO).
48 deep sewerage connections.
A waste water sewerage system is to be installed at Warakurna, with work commencing in 1996/97. Cost $1.6 million. Funds have been earmarked for this project.
Western Australian Water Authority will be the responsible Authority.
Community employs two CDEP Project Officers. One of them is the Karrku outstations officer. Maintenance of community sewerage (septics) is their responsibililty.
Community has 2 public laundries.
COMMUNITY RUBBISH COLLECTION
Ngaanyatjarraku Shire Council D9 bulldozer is currently supplied for pit digging and rubbish burial.
COMMUNITY WATER SUPPLY
COMMUNITY POWER SUPPLY
Warakurna is located at the western end of the majestic Rawlinson Ranges. The residents are mostly Ngaatjatjarra speakers. Many of them experienced their first contact with non-Aboriginals in the late 1930's with the establishment of the Warburton Mission while for other residents their first contact was in the late 1950's with the Native Patrol Officers working for the Weapons Research Establishment in Woomera, South Australia.
Native Patrol Officers were employed by the Government to move the remaining nomadic yarnangu from their country to Warburton Mission or other government settlements in the region in order to protect them from rocket debris from the “Blue Streak" research project. As a result some yarnangu from this area were taken to Warburton Mission, and a few others were taken to missions at Jigalong and Balgo in WA and to the government settlement at Papunya in NT.
The work of the Native Patrol Officers was greatly facilitated by the road construction work (including the Gunbarrell Highway) undertaken by Len Beadell who was employed by the Weapons Research Establishment. For the first time the country around the Rawlinson Ranges was opened up to mechanised transport allowing for easier access from the south, west and east. This also allowed for the establishment of the Giles Weather Station on an area excised from the Reserve in 1956 for this purpose. In 1991 this excision was handed over to the Ngaanyatjarra Council who now sub-lease it back to the Commonwealth.
By the 1960's a new government settlement was established at Docker River, just across the WA/NT border and only 100km north-east of the Giles Weather Station. Many yarnangu traditionally from the Warakurna area moved to Docker River from Papunya to be closer to their homelands. Docker River provided an ideal base from which people could make visits during holiday periods to the many rockholes at the base of the Rawlinson Ranges.
In the early 1970's several factors, including the availability of government funding for homelands, easier road access, over-crowding at Docker River settlement and Warburton Mission, all combined to make the location of Giles Weather Station ideal for a new community. The Warakurna community became incorporated in 1976 and a member of the Ngaanyatjarra Council in 1981.