The Kimberley is the northernmost region of Western Australia bordered by the Indian Ocean to the West; the Timor Sea to the North; the Great Sandy Desert to the South and the Northern Territory to the East. The region covers an area of 421,451 square kilometres, which is one-sixth of the Western Australia’s total land area.
The Kimberley region consists of 4 local government areas with the main population centres are around the towns of Broome, Derby, Halls Creek, Fitzroy Crossing and Kununurra. In addition there are over 100 Aboriginal communities of varying size and 100 pastoral properties which include 31 Indigenous properties.
The total population of the Kimberley region in 2006 was estimated at 38,600 and this growth has been supported by the expansion of industries such as irrigated agriculture, pearling, mining operations, tourism, horticulture, aquaculture and new offshore/onshore mining and energy projects.
Noonkanbah is an Aboriginal run and owned cattle station. Climate within the region is described as dry hot tropical and semi-arid with summer rainfall. The average annual rainfall is between 500 and 800 mm per annum. The seasons are described as the ‘dry season’ May to October, and the ‘wet season’ from November to April. Fitzroy Crossing has a 107 year annual mean rainfall of 540mm, whilst Camballin and Looma have an annual rainfall of 593 mm.
The mean annual maximum temperature for Fitzroy Crossing and Camballin (with Yungngora situated between the two towns) is about 36° Celcius, with a mean annual minimum of 20° Celcius. The three months of October, November and December are extremely hot, with mean maximum temperatures around 40 degrees.
Yungngora community is situated approximately 73 kilometres south of the Great Northern Highway, west of Fitzroy Crossing, and at 18.29.54 S and 124.49.58 E in Western Australia. The community is located within historically significant Noonkanbah Station and is approximately 165kms from Fitzroy Crossing by road. The community falls within the Local Government area of the Shire of Derby-West Kimberley.
Yungngora takes its name from a mythical ancestral being who was one of two dogs that travelled through country to the south of the Fitzroy River in the St George Ranges (Kalijidi), before crossing the river and entering a waterhole near the existing site of the old Noonkanbah homestead.
The Yungngora community is home to around 265 people, depending on seasonal movement and mustering time, and the main language groups are Mangala, Nyikina and Walmajarri. Most members speak English or Kriol as their first language at home. Most community members are related by birth or marriage. To a degree, the community reflects differences between language groups, with the Nyikina family groups tending to be within Top Camp, and the Walmatjarri speakers residing within the Bottom Camp.
Yungngora Association Inc owns and manages the Noonkanbah Station through its company Noonkanbah Rural Enterprises Pty Ltd, and owns the Store through the Noonkanbah Enterprises Management Company Pty Ltd as the Trustee for the NEMCO Aboriginal Charitable Trust trading as
There are two outstations administered by YAI including Bidijul and Mingalkala and numerous other small communities who utilise facilities at Yungngora to various degrees including Jimbalakundj, Kadjina, Koorabye, Kalyeeda Station, Millijidee Station and Yakanarra.
Yungngora Community itself has the following facilities : independent school with primary and secondary year levels, community clinic with aboriginal health worker & regular (Monday to Wednesday) registered nurse visits with doctors (RFDS) visits weekly on a Thursday, convenience store , telecentre , Women’s Centre/Crèche , BRACS Unit (TV Radio ), HACC (Home and Community Care ), Welding/Engineering Shed, Housing Maintenance Shed & Community Mechanical Workshop.
Yungngora also has an all weather airstrip that is RFDS approved with lighting for night landings.
Yungngora's CDEP is one of the largest stand alone CDEP s left in the region. It has 92 on CDEP which includes participants who work on the two out stations under their control.
Compared to many remote indigenous communities throughout the Fitzroy Valley, Yungngora community is mostly functional, has good governance, reasonable housing and good infrastructure. With the right support, these factors combine to create a community with a good chance of generating economic and employment outcomes into the future. With a young population, the community will continue to grow over the foreseeable future.
* All Information supplied by the employer August 2011