Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara
|Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara
Location of the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara
|Population||2,230 (2006 Census)|
|• Density||0.02172/km2 (0.05627/sq mi)|
|Area||102,650 km2 (39,633.4 sq mi)|
|Website||Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara|
Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) is a large Aboriginal local government area located in the remote north west of South Australia. It consists of the Pitjantjatjara, Yankunytjatjara and Ngaanyatjarra peoples (or anangu), and has a population of around 2500 people.
The Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara people (anangu) had lived in this area for many thousands of years.
After the British began to colonise the Australian continent from 1788 onwards, the anangu remained more or less undisturbed for many more years, apart from very occasional encounters with a variety of European explorers.
In 1921, with white settlement now beginning to encroach on the anangu's traditional land, the South Australian Government proclaimed the North-West Aboriginal Reserve. This Reserve consisted of most is what is now known as the APY Lands, with the exception of the eastern part of the APY Lands, which was given over to pastoral leases to Europeans.
By the 1950s, many anangu were living at the Ernabella Mission, while many others lived at camps on pastoral leases on what are now the Lands, or nearby, where they would work. Those pastoral leases included Granite Downs, Everard Park, Victory Downs, De Rose Hill, Kenmore Park, and Mount Cavanagh.
In 1961, to prevent overcrowding at Ernabella Mission, the Church established what became the community of Amata, but which was originally known as Musgrave Park. At the same time the Church also established what is now the community of Kaltjiti, but which was then known as Fregon.
In 1968, what is now the community of Indulkana was established by the South Australian Government, as a base from which to provide welfare services to anangu living in camps on pastoral leases, where work was becoming increasingly difficult to find. At that time, the surrounding area was excised from pastoral leases and declared the Indulkana Aboriginal Reserve.
The body now known as Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara was formed in 1981 by the passing of the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Land Rights Act, 1981 by the Parliament of South Australia, and includes the Pitjantjatjara, Yankunytjatjara and Ngaanyatjarra groups.
'Ara Irititja' is a project of the APY, commenced in 1994 to identify, copy and electronically record historical materials about the Anangu (Pitjantjatjara/Yankunytjatjara people). Its purpose is to prevent the loss of the history, and to allow the teaching of it to others in the community.
The peoples of the region have not had any major economic development, apart from tourism, but there have been proposals to mine in the area. The Mintabie opal fields are located in the area but separate.
The Musgrave Block in the Pitjantjatjara Lands, in South Australia's far north-west, has been viewed as having billions of dollars in potential mineral deposits and petroleum. But the Yankunytjatjara Pitjantjatjara people have been wary of opening up the area to mining, concerned about the impact on sacred sites and the environment. Mining companies are conducting discussion to try to allay these worries.
For decades two major issues throughout the APY Lands have been the low standard of health care (compared to the rest of Australia) and drug abuse, namely alcohol, petrol sniffing, cannabis and later other illicit drugs. Part of the difficulty in reducing alcohol and illicit drug use has been the straddling of the indigenous area by three jurisdictions: South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory. The jurisdictional crossover has made police enforcement of drug trafficking laws difficult, but in 2007 collaboration between these states was reported to be delivering results.
- In July 2007 South Australia Police in co-operation with liquor outlets in Coober Pedy (250 km to the south-east entrance to the Lands) agreed to create a register of alcohol purchases, to enable police to identify persons who purchased large quantities of alcohol in Coober Pedy potentially for transportation into Aboriginal lands.
- Also in July 2007, Commonwealth Indigenous Affairs Minister Mal Brough offered federal help for a "drug and alcohol crackdown" in South Australian Aboriginal lands - such as the APY Lands.
- in July 2007, UnitingCare Wesley Adelaide  set up a website papertracker.com.au to monitor State and Federal Government spending promises for the APY Lands, tracking the delivery of those promises
- In early August 2007, the Rann South Australian Labor Government announced a A$34 million package to "improve well-being of Aboriginal people" in the APY Lands. $25m will be spent on improving housing and most of the remaining $8m on law enforcement in Amata and Pukatja.
- In November 2007, SA Police Commissioner Mal Hyde announced the signing of a new enterprise agreement for SA Police that would include incentive packages to lure police to work in rural and remote areas such as the APY Lands 
- In May 2008, retired Supreme Court judge the Hon E. P. "Ted" Mullighan QC delivered his supplementary report to his Children in State Care inquiry, entitled the "Children on Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands Commission of Inquiry - a Report into Sexual Abuse" in which Commissioner Mullighan begins in the Preface as follows:
"This Inquiry has uncovered a sad stream of stories from the Lands. I have heard that sexual abuse of children on the Lands has been widespread throughout the communities for many years..."
- In December 2009 the South Australian Parliament belatedly passed the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Land Rights (Mintabie) Amendment Bill.
The statutory functions of the APY are:
- (a) to ascertain the wishes and opinions of traditional owners in relation to the management, use and control of the lands and to seek, where practicable, to give effect to those wishes and opinions;
- (b) to protect the interests of traditional owners in relation to the management, use and control of the lands; and
- (c) to negotiate with persons desiring to use, occupy or gain access to any part of the lands;
- (d) to administer land vested in Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara.
The APY Lands communities had a significantly higher proportion of younger people than the overall Australian population, and accordingly significantly lower proportion of older people than the overall population.
98% of the residents were Australian-born (compared to 86.1% nationwide).
58.6% of residents listed Pitjantjatjara as the language spoken at home, whilst 14.3% listed Yankunytjatjara as their spoken language. 18.7% gave English as the language spoken at home, compared with 78.5% of the overall Australian population.
46.1% identified with being affiliated with the Uniting Church in Australia (compared to 5.7% with that affiliation nationwide), explainable by the UCA's significant presence in each community.
Median incomes in the APY Lands were significantly lower than the Australian population, with a median individual weekly income of $219/week compared with $466/week nationwide.
The APY Lands have a significantly larger proportion of single-parent families (30.1% cf 15.8% nationwide).
Home ownership is a distant reality for most people on the APY Lands, with only 7% of residents either fully owning or in the process of purchasing their own home - compared with 32.6% of Australians fully owning and 32.2% purchasing (a nett of 64.8%). The majority of APY Lands residents are likely to have a landlord.
The largest towns in the area are (with 2006 census population figures):
- Irintata Homelands
- Kaltjiti Homelands
- Mintabie, a largely non-indigenous opal mining community in the south (only accessible with APY permit)
- Tjurma Homelands
- Turkey Bore
- Umuwa - administrative centre of the APY Lands
The Anangu Lands Paper Tracker website operated by Uniting Care Wesley Adelaide provides an interactive map of the communities (see Links section below).
In 2004, the South Australian Government allocated funding for a public transport bus service on the APY Lands. From October 2007, a twice-weekly return service will run from Alice Springs to Marla via main communities on the eastern-side of the APY Lands.
Even in this remote area, houses have telephones, access to multiple television channels including (Imparja and ABC), and mail is delivered weekly by air from Alice Springs. Many of the localities described above are slated for broadband delivery in the near future.
In 2008, the Northern Territory proposes under its local government reforms to create the MacDonnell Shire which will span the south of the Territory from western to eastern border, thereby comprising the adjoining LGA across the top of the APY Lands.
The Outback Communities Authority in South Australia is not an LGA, but is the authority responsible for the development of areas adjoining the APY Lands (not including Maralinga Tjarutja to the south and the District Council of Coober Pedy to the non-immediate, but relatively nearby, south-east).
- "Far North SA Government Region" (PDF). Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
- Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Land Rights Act 1981 at Australasian Legal Information Institute
- Waru.org, Organizations, archived from the original on 19 July 2007, retrieved 2007-06-05
- Ara Irititja, Online overview, archived from the original on 14 July 2007, retrieved 2007-06-05
- Mintabie profile at Outback Areas Community Development Trust
- Nance Haxton, The ABC, Anangu Pitjantjatjara people agree to discussions with mining industry, retrieved 2007-06-05
- Adelaide Advertiser, 23 July 2007
- "Brough offer on Aboriginal lands", Adelaide Advertiser, 3 August 2007 p14
- "$34 million package for the APY Lands" 'Minister Weatherill Media Release, 3 August 2007''Retrieved on 8 August 2007'
- "Cash Incentives to boost rural SA policing" 'ABC News Online, 15 November 2007''Retrieved on 27 November 2007'
- Mullighan Inquiry Report 'Retrieved on 7 May 2008'
- http://www.papertracker.com.au/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=88&Itemid=1 "Paper Tracker project of UnitingCare Wesley Adelaide - APY Lands: renewal of the Mintabie lease on Paper Tracker
- waru.org: About Us
- APY Lands: public transport bus service Paper Tracker Project, UnitingCare Wesley Retrieved on 2 October 2007
- Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Council website
- Official website
- LGA website
- Aboriginal Lands Joint Standing Committee of South Australian Parliament 
- Anangu Paper Tracker website interactive map including APY communities
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Anangu Pitjantjatjara (AC) (Local Government Area)". 2006 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 2007-07-17.
- ""The Pitjantjatjara Land Rights Act 1981" - Presentation by the Hon Robert Lawson MLC". The Bennelong Society 2003 Conference "An Indigenous Future? Challenges and Opportunities". 2003. Archived from the original on 13 August 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-10.
- Rankine, Jennifer (2007). "Ministerial Press Release - "Financial counsellor for aboriginal communities"". South Australian Government - Minister for Consumer Affairs. Retrieved 2007-07-12.