The Place Where the Dreaming Changed Shape

Remote Area Tree Services spent September to December of 2010 in Maningrida, contracted by West Arnhem Shire Council to conduct tree maintenance works amongst the community houses. Further to that, the team conducted hazard assessments and compiled Arboricultural reports on a consultancy basis, they conducted emergency powerline clearance, assisted in construction site tree maintenance, and did a lot of fishing amongst other things.

Compliments of Kathy and Chris, team RATS had a base in Maningrida for the duration of the works, for which we are very grateful. Phil Kenyon and Richard Kenyon conducted two weeks of training for the West Arnhem Shire Council Parks and Gardens staff members during this period in Arboricultural practices. Greg Kenyon and Scott Forrest were both invaluable subcontractors who also provided much moral support in Richard’s fishing expeditions.

Maningrida was established as a trading post in the 1950s and at that time Aboriginal people were trading in crocodile skins and buffalo. To prevent Aboriginal people coming to Darwin to trade Maningrida was settled as a trading centre for Arnhem Land in the 1950s and the Drysdale family settled at Maningrida in 1956 on the land traditionally owned by the Gunavidgi people. Maningrida also housed a leprosarium through the 1960s.

The coastal town of Maningrida has a population of 3000 and is near the second largest community in the Northern Territory.  It lies on the estuary of the Liverpool River, located approximately 400 km east of Darwin in North East Arnhem Land. The Kunibídji people are the traditional landowners of this country and the name Maningrida is an Anglicised version of the Kunibídji name Manayingkarírra, which comes from the phrase ‘Mane djang karirra’, meaning ‘the place where the dreaming changed shape’.

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