Anangu tjutaku working together and with others are keeping culture strong; Elders are respected, and younger people are learning from them; families, men, and women, young and old are on country keeping themselves and country healthy; stories, plants, and animals all still there for future generations of Anangu tjutaku.
"Anangu tjutaku” translates simply to “many Aboriginal people”. In this place, Anangu tjutaku refers to the Spinifex, Pilki and Untiri Pulka Native Title Holders, their connection to each other and their shared country.
Anangu Pila Nguru (Spinifex People) are the original managers of the Spinifex Lands and have been caring for the area for thousands of years. Across such a long history, it is only in very recent times that new threats have developed in these lands. As such, a combination of traditional and contemporary land management practices have needed to evolve to reduce these threats and keep the Spinifex people, culture and land healthy. The Spinifex Land Management (SLM) Program is the product of that evolution: An Indigenous ranger team and a Healthy Country Plan (HCP) developed by local rangers and the community, to provide direction, technical support and resources.
In 2000, the Spinifex People nominated Pila Nguru (Aboriginal Corporation) as their registered native title body corporate to hold their native title rights and interests on trust on their behalf.
Pila Nguru supports the Spinifex People's aspirations for cultural and natural heritage management by facilitating intergenerational transfer of cultural knowledge.
Tjuntjuntjara is home to approximately 200 residents, located in the southwest corner of Spinifex Country within a portion of the Great Victoria Desert Nature Reserve (class “A” reserve 30490). Tjuntjuntjara is a declared dry community 680 km north-east of Kalgoorlie.
The Spinifex People were displaced from their traditional homelands in the Great Victoria Desert in Western Australia during the period of the Maralinga Atomic Testing in the 1950’s. Some remained in the desert and the last Spinifex people to come in from the Lands were a family of seven in 1986; the last known Indigenous people to emerge from the desert in Australia!
Most Anangu tjutaku live within Spinifex Country in Tjuntjuntjara, one of the most remote communities in Australia. Those who do not live in Tjuntjuntjara generally reside in either Yalata, Oak Valley in the Maralinga Lands (SA), communities in the Ngaanyatjarra Lands (WA) and APY Lands (SA), or Kalgoorlie.
After the people were moved to Cundeelee Mission in the 1950’s and forced to leave for a government-funded housing settlement at Coonana in the early 80’s (due to a lack of water at Cundeelee), the Spinifex traditional owners commenced their move back to their homealands by establishing an outstation on the Nullarbor called Double Pump. A couple of years later they moved to another bore further north at Yakatunya, then eventually resettled in Tjuntjuntjara in 1988 when a bore was installed. Despite 25 years of relocation during the missionary era, Anangu tjutaku maintain a deep cultural connection to country that has been held for tens of thousands of years. Archaeologists have found evidence of human habitation in Central Australia dating back approximately 25,000 years (Cane, 2002). The Spinifex families of Tjuntjuntjara.
The Spinifex People will never leave their traditional country
as their cultural responsibility and obligation is to
look after their land, heritage and culture.
Anangu tjutaku are particularly active and respected members of the broader Western and Central Desert cultural cycles.
Pila Nguru Aboriginal Corporation:
For all enquiries please contact
our office in Tjuntjuntjara:
General Manager : Adam Pennington
c/. Pila Nguru (Aboriginal Corporation) RNTBC
Spinifex Land Management Centre
Tjuntjuntjara, WA 6430
Tel: (08) 9028 2540