Warruwi

Remote Area Tree Services spent part of January and all of February 2011 in Warruwi, Goulburn Island South. We were contracted by Power & Water, Warruwi School and West Arnhem Shire Council to conduct tree management works on the island. Remote Area Tree Services worked in conjunction with Andrew Bates’ CDEP crew performing the required tree pruning and removals.

The North and South Goulburn Islands are located in Auray Bay, off the northern Arnhem Land coast and Coburg Peninsula. The islands are Aboriginal-owned with access by permit only. Warruwi falls under the Barrah Ward, with the West Arnhem Shire Council.

The Warruwi people are the traditional owners of the Goulburn Islands, and the Warruwi community is located on the southern tip of the south island. Warruwi is a dry community (no alcohol) and fishing is the main pastime of local people, who are allowed to hunt the turtles and dugong prevalent in the area.

The community is made up of three main clans: the Mawng, Walang; and the Kunwinjku. There is also a presence of the Galpu Clan from nearby Elcho Island. This cultural mix makes for fascinating and individual artworks. The traditional practices of stripping bark and using natural ochres, oxides and charcoals are still used regularly, along with new contemporary abstract styles by one of Mardbalk Arts’ leading artists, Richard Dhaymutha (Mardbalk Arts 2011).

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