Yirrkala Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Centre - NT

  Tourist Attraction


DEG: -12.25052 136.891098
DMS: 12º 15' 1.87" S 136º 53' 27.95" E
UTM: 53 L 8645024mN 705705mE
Altitude: 12m


Address & Contact

Tuffin Rd
Yirrkala NT 0880
Phone: (08) 8987 1701
Email: mulka@yirrkala.com
Web: https://yirrkala.com


The art of the Yirrkala region has been developing an appreciative audience since the township was founded as a mission in 1935. Work from Yirrkala was amongst the earliest commercial Aboriginal art marketed by Methodist Overseas Mission.

There is strong evidence to suggest that the art emerging from Yirrkala in the mid 1950s was a catalyst in the non-Aboriginal art world’s realisation that Indigenous Australian art is a unique and profound independent art tradition – the equal of any other global form.

Further, the artists of Yirrkala were amongst the first Indigenous Australians to recognise the potential use of visual art as a political tool and put this into practice with the now famous Yirrkala Church Panels (on display in our museum) and Yirrkala Bark Petition (currently on display at Parliament House in Canberra) dating from 1963, also the Wuki[i Installation in The NT Supreme Court, Darwin and the Saltwater Collection in the Australian National Maritime Museum.

When government policy shifted and self-determination came to communities in Arnhem Land, the artists saw the establishment of a community controlled art centre as critically important to further their economic independence, cultural security over sacred designs, and to maintain political and intellectual sovereignty. Yolngu culture is based on a strong sense of connection to land and sea.

Yirrkala is ancestral land belonging to the Rirratjingu/Gumatj clans. Yolngu have traded and intermarried with Macassans since c.1100-1600 AD. In 1935 when the Federal Government was considering a ‘punitive expedition’ (massacre) against the Yolngu, Mawalan Marika invited the missionary Wilbur Chaseling to establish a mission at Yirrkala.

In the following years the leadership of the Yolngu resisted their dispossession by: government; missionaries; potential Japanese invasion; and Bauxite miners. In addition to the Yirrkala Church Panels and Yirrkala Bark Petition, they have used their art to assert their connection to land in; the Gove Land Rights Case; the Woodward Royal Commission; the Barunga Statement; the Yirrkala Homeland Movement; the Land Rights Act (NT) 1976; the Both Ways education bilingual curriculum; and the world renowned contemporary music band Yothu Yindi.
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Closest Weather Station

Gove Airport at 01/06:30am CST
Distance from Yirrkala Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Centre 8.12km W
TemperatureFeels LikeRel. HumidityDew PointPressureRainfallWind DirectionWind SpeedGusts

Closest Climatic Station

Gove Airport
Distance from Yirrkala Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Centre 8.12km W
Mean Max. °C32.031.531.230.829.828.327.728.630.331.733.132.9
Mean Min. °C24.724.523.923.222.621.
Mean Rain mm272.1278.7278.8226.289.830.818.45.55.811.444.4181.2

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