Ngalingkadji, sometimes referred to as Chestnut Bore, is a small Aboriginal community located approximately 55kms SE from Fitzroy Crossing.
The establishment of Ngalingkadji can generally be seen as part of the broader ‘Homelands’ movement that began in Western Australia in the late 1970s, which saw the permanent return to traditional country of Aboriginal peoples who had previously migrated to government institutions, missions, ration stations, pastoral stations and town camps. Marra Worra Worra helped put in for the first houses and negotiate with ATSIC for infrastructure.
The community was established in the early 1980s by Gooniyandi people moving from Gogo Pastoral Station where many of the men had worked as stockmen. Approximately 40 people live in the community now. The school bus takes the kids to Bayulu.
We met Billy, Nola and Esther.
Elder, Billy remembers the days when the community was established using humpies/canvas tents in a place closer to the river. The Emanuel Brothers owned the station and used Billy and the Aboriginal people of the area as free labour. Billy still has his first pay slip, which was for $24 dollars for 3-4 months full time work. He remembers being paid in tea, sugar, flour, milk, meat and tobacco. No veggies!
The Roadhouse for Chestnut Bore is where Billy lived. Back in those days the Roadhouse was also a mechanics stations. Then they were moved to Outcamp Creek, #2 Bore. The school was set up in a cave within Gogo Station and run by Christian missionaries before they were moved into town.
Billy says the community is important to provide access to country. Also to remove people from the temptation that comes from an overcrowded town like alcohol and associated violence.
Our communities are alive and full of stories about how they came to be and why that place in country is important for health and culture.
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