About us

Our old people — our mothers and our fathers — brought us to where we are now.

“Old people give us everything. We look backwards to get a full story. Through that connection we know many things. We now look forwards, and must give a strong story to our children and grandchildren.”

Gurruwiling, which is known as the Arafura Swamp, its catchment and adjacent sea country stretches across about 1,200 square kilometres in central Arnhem Land, about 450km east of Darwin. This vast area supports over a thousand species of plants and hundreds of fish, bird, mammal, reptile and other animal species. Its large and diverse wetland habitats support as many as 300,000 birds at any one time.

It is Aboriginal-owned land and sea country. Our rights are protected by the Aboriginal Land Rights Act.

Our landowners have strong control of what can happen there, who can visit and what they can do. They come from groups in the region including the Rembarrnga-speaking Bi Ngong of the swamp and its catchment, the Bi from the western area and Yolŋu people from east of Arafura Swamp (including speakers of the Yolŋu languages Djinang, Djinba, Djambarrpingu, Ganhalpuyngu, Mandhalpuyngu, Ritharrngu, Wagilak).

Healthy Country Plan

We know that the land needs its people to care for it and to keep it healthy. In the same way we know that caring for the country keeps us healthy – physically, spiritually and mentally.