Towns in Australia

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Oombulgurri Community WA

Oombulgurri Community

Postcode: 6740

Oombulgurri is an Aboriginal community in the eastern Kimberley, with a population of 300. The nearest town is Wyndham, which is 45 km to the southeast; the nearest major town is Kununurra, which is 120 km to the southeast.

The Anglican Forrest River Mission for Aborigines was founded in 1896-1897 by Harold Hale but was abandoned after a few months. A permanent mission, known as the Forrest River Mission, was established on the site in 1913 by the bishop of the north west, the Rt. Rev. Gerard Trower. In December 1913, Anglican priest Ernest Gribble took charge, three years after he was forced to resign as superintendent at Yarrabah. Gribble remained as superintendent until the early 1930s.

In 1973, fifty Aboriginal people decided to resettle their abandoned tribal land and rename it Oombulgurri. Within a year, the population had grown to 200. Infrastructure and welfare programs were set up in the 1970s and 1980s to provide the residents with basic amenities and to allow the town to become self-sufficient.

Oombulgurri is only reliably accessible by boat or by air, as the unsealed road leading to the town is washed out most of the year due to the wet season. There is an airstrip nearby for light aircraft.