The area encompassed by the Djelk IPA is home to approximately 2,300 Aboriginal people (Bawinanga Aboriginal Corporation 2009). Maningrida (pop. 1700) is the largest community within the Djelk IPA, located approximately 520 km east of Darwin by road. In 2006, 48% of Maningrida’s Indigenous population was younger than 20 years of age. The Indigenous population of Maningrida and its surrounds is projected to grow by 39% by 2026 (Northern Territory Government 2012). Being one of the larger Aboriginal communities in Arnhem Land, the level of service provision in Maningrida township is relatively good for a remote Aboriginal community. There are 34 surrounding outstations with approximately 800 residents.

Services and infrastructure at Maningrida include:

  • all weather airstrip
  • two small supermarkets
  • fully equipped community health centre
  • one school (that goes through to High School)
  • community education centre with approximately 650 students enrolled

Homeland Learning Centres are located at 12 outstations around Maningrida  where education is delivered to small groups of students unable to attend the school in Maningrida.


There are five outstations in the Warddeken IPA, with the key outstation for IPA management being Kabulwarnamyo (pop. 25-30). The four other communities on the Plateau, three permanently occupied and one currently unoccupied for cultural reasons, are Malkowo, Manmoyih, Kamarrkawan and Kumarrirnbang (pop. range 2-100).There are also over 2,000 people who have connections with the Warddeken IPA lands who do not currently live within the IPA. The rugged terrain and topography of the Warddeken IPA means that access can be problematic. In the dry season a few rough tracks are accessible by 4WD and a number of bush airstrips are the only means of access in the wet season. Infrastructure within the IPA is minimal. There are no shops, medical clinics, schools or other services that are available in other larger Aboriginal communities in Arnhem Land. There are education services at only one outstation communities. Health workers make community visits, however access to additional clinic services or emergencies requires a long trip by bush tracks in the dry season and an expensive light plane trip in the wet season. For the purposes of land management to other areas within the IPA, access is mainly by foot or by helicopter.

The development of infrastructure to support land management at Kabulwarnamyo is the KKT’s key focus for the future Effective management of the IPA will only be achieved if traditional owners are able to live on and/or visit their ancestral lands. This will only be possible if there is a reasonable level of transport access, decent community facilities and housing and good communications for management and a minimal level of service delivery (Warddeken Land Management Limited 2009a).


Bawinanga Aboriginal Corporation (2009). Djelk Indigenous Protected Area - Central Northern Arnhem Land Management Plan 2009.

Northern Territory Government (2012). Working Future: A Territory Government Initiative: Maningrida.

Warddeken Land Management Limited (2009a). Warddeken Indigenous Protected Area Arnhem Land Plateau, Northern Territory Management Plan 2009-2013.