MOJOs from Galiwin’ku
With a population of around 2200 people, Galiwin’ku is the largest community in east Arnhem Land. It is the main township on Elcho Island, supporting approximately 25 outstations. The Elcho Island group is recognised as a site of international conservation significance, being in near-pristine condition.
Elcho is a tropical island, with the mangroves and mud of the eastern side providing bountiful mud crab and barramundi, and the sandy beaches and reef of the western side offering oysters, crayfish, reef fish and turtles. The island contains tropical rainforests, tidal creeks and large cliff areas.
An aerodrome and barge landing enable access to Galiwin’ku all year round. A permit from the Northern Land Council is required to visit.
Traditional art and culture is strong in Galiwin’ku. The Marthakal Arts Hub has been operated by residents since 1992 and gives Yolngu artists the opportunity to promote their work and share their culture. The arts hub houses a workshop, two galleries and a retail outlet. The community also owns and operates a charter aircraft business.
Approximately 94 per cent of Galiwin’ku residents are Aboriginal, with half being under 20 years of age. The major language is Djambarrpuyngu, which is spoken by 80 per cent of the community. Galpu, Gumatj, Wangurri and Gapapuyngu are also spoken.
Galiwin’ku is a petrol-free community and total alcohol restrictions apply.