Kalka is an Aboriginal community in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands in South Australia administered under the the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Land Rights Act.
Kalka is situated in the far northwest of South Australia, right alongside the Gunbarrel Highway. The Kalka community is just kilometres from the Surveyor-General’s Corner (the intersection of the South Australia, Western Australia and Northern Territory borders). The community of Pipalyatjara is situated 15 kilometres away by road, on the south side of the mountain ridge of which Kalka sits on the north. Kalka is situated at the foot of the Tomkinson Ranges.
Based upon the climate records of the nearest weather station at Giles across the border and slightly to the northwest in Western Australia, Kalka experiences summer maximum temperatures of an average of 37.2 degrees celsius in January and a winter maximum average temperature of 19.9 degrees celsius in July. Overnight lows range from a mean minimum temperature of 23.5 degrees in January to 6.8 degrees in June. Annual rainfall averages 284.2 millimetres.
According to local media, Kalka’s population is approximately 150 people. The Australian Bureau of Statistics’ 2001 Census indicated a total population of 139, with 90.6% being Indigenous Australians . The residents are mainly Anangu people with a small non-Anangu population.
Kalka Community is the administrative and residential centre for Pitjantjatjara Homelands Council. PHC is an incorporated Aboriginal organisation that exists to further the social, economic, political and cultural interests of its members. PHC was born out of the Aboriginal homelands movement of the 1970s when Anangu left the missions and government settlements to the east and west and returned to their traditional country. Many Anangu had been brought into or were attracted into these settlements during the 1950s and 1960s when the Australian Government ran the Maralinga atomic bomb tests and Woomera rocket tests. Kalka was originally planned as a resource centre for surrounding homelands but by the early 1990s it had developed into a small Aboriginal community with the full range of housing, infrastructure and service needs.