Warburton, Western Australia

Warburton, Western Australia

Infobox Australian Place | type = town
name = Warburton
state = wa

caption =
lga = Shire of Ngaanyatjarraku
postcode = 6431
est = 1933
pop = 495 (2001 Census)
elevation= 459
maxtemp = 37.6
mintemp = 5.5
rainfall = 247.7
fedgov = Kalgoorlie
stategov = Kalgoorlie
dist1 = 288
dir1 = west
location1= Kaltukatjara (Docker River)
dist2 = 560
dir2 = northeast
location2= Laverton
dist3 = 750
dir3 = northeast
location3= Kalgoorlie
dist4 = 1050
dir4 = southwest
location4= Alice Springs
dist5 = 1500
dir5 = east-northeast
location5= Perth

Warburton or Warburton mission is an Indigenous Australian community in Western Australia, just to the south of the Gibson Desert and located on the Great Central Road (also known as the "Outback Highway") and Gunbarrel Highway.


Australian Broadcasting Corporation research indicated that:

The Aboriginal people of the western desert were nomadic people, moving around in search of food and water. This changed with the arrival of missionaries and the beginning of 'settlement' at Warburton in 1933.


By 1954, between 500 and 700 Aboriginal people were living at Warburton. Children stayed in the children's home and were sent to school where they were taught in English, a policy that contributed to the breakdown of traditional culture. Women and girls were trained in sewing, kitchen skills and cooking, and men made money by collecting dingo scalps or working as shearers or builders for the mission. A nearby copper mine drew even more people to the settlement and by the 1970s the last of the nomadic people had come in from the bush [Liz Thompson, ABC "Gateway to Arts and Culture" story page re Warburton; [http://www.abc.net.au/arts/signal/stories/s767541.htm] ] .

The settlement has been an Aboriginal mission since 1934, when Will Wade, his wife and his children established the mission under the auspices of the UAM (United Aborigines Mission). It is named after explorer Peter Warburton, the first European to cross the Great Sandy Desert.

The ABC later adds:

In 1973, the United Aborigines Mission handed control of the Warburton settlement to the Aboriginal people, and responsibility for economic development was undertaken by the Aboriginal Affairs Planning Authority of the state government of Western Australia. Since then, Warburton has worked under the umbrella of the Ngaanyatjarra Council. [Liz Thompson, ABC "Gateway to Arts and Culture" story page re Warburton; [http://www.abc.net.au/arts/signal/stories/s767541.htm] ]


Warburton is the centre of a very large Aboriginal reserve, Ngaanyatjarra which is extremely isolated, stretching east to the Northern Territory border. Beyond there the first major settlement is Yulara, near Uluru. The closest town is Laverton 560 km south west along the Great Central Road.

Warburton is situated on the Elder Creek [Bonzle.com Australian Atlas Information Page; [http://bonzle.com/c/a?a=p&cmd=sp&p=1591&st=&s=warburton] ] .


Climate records have been collected at Warburton Airfield since 1940 [Bureau of Meteorology website; [http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/averages/tables/cw_013011.shtml] ] . January is the hottest month of the year, with a mean maximum temperature of 37.6 degrees Celsius and overnight minimums of 22.6 degrees. July is the coldest month with a mean maximum temperature of 20.4 degrees and mean minimum temperature of 5.5 degrees.

Average rainfall is 247.7 millimetres, with February tending to be the wettest month and September the driest month. Warburton is therefore more affected by the tropical rain systems from the north of Australia rather than the rain-bearing cold fronts arriving from Antarctica towards the south of Australia.


The demographics of the population are likely matched by the overall data indicated for the Shire of Ngaanyatjarraku 2006 Census.

The 2001 Census indicated a population of 571 residents, 91.1% of whom were Indigenous Australians. [Census 2006 AUS | id = UCL527800 | name = Warburton (Urban Centre/Locality) | quick = on | accessdate=2008-02-28]


Warburton is a "dry" community where the use of alcohol is prohibited.

Tourists need a permit to enter the town.

Ngaanyatjarra Community College was opened in August 1996 to provide a range of adult education options for the community [Tjulyuru community website; [http://www.tjulyuru.com/college.asp] ] .

Warburton produces artistic glass works and glass panels for interior design. The local art gallery exhibits Aboriginal art from the region. The arts projects were commenced in 1990 to preserve local tradition and culture [Australian Broadcasting Corporation - Gateway to Arts and Culture [http://www.abc.net.au/arts/signal/stories/s767541.htm] ] .


External links

* [http://bonzle.com/c/a?a=p&cmd=sp&p=1591&st=&s=warburton Bonzle Australian Atlas reference page]

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