|Population||268 (2016 census)|
|Time zone||ACST (UTC+9:30)|
|LGA(s)||Shire of Ngaanyatjarraku|
|State electorate(s)||North West Central|
Warakurna is a large Aboriginal community, located in the Goldfields-Esperance region of Western Australia, within the Shire of Ngaanyatjarraku and is situated on the Great Central Road (part of the Outback Way ultimately connecting Perth to Cairns diagonally across Australia). It is at the western end of the Rawlinson Ranges. At the 2016 census, Warakurna had a population of 268, including 237 who identified as Aboriginal Australians, most of whom speak Ngaanyatjarra at home.
In the early 1970s several factors, including the availability of government funding for outstations, easier road access, and over-crowding at Docker River settlement and Warburton Mission, all combined to make the location of Giles Weather Station ideal for a new community. The Warakurna community became incorporated in 1976 and a member of the Ngaanyatjarra Council in 1981.
Warakurna Layout Plan No.1 was prepared in accordance with State Planning Policy 3.2 Aboriginal Settlements and was endorsed by the community in 2003 and the Western Australian Planning Commission in 2004.
Children of school age at Warakurna attend the Warakurna campus of the Ngaanyatjarra Lands School which was formed in 2007 by administratively combining nine remote campuses in the Ngaanyatjarra lands. Warakurna campus caters to year nine, then students must transfer to the larger campus at Warburton.
The community is serviced by the Giles Airstrip which provides a 24-hour all-weather 1,600 metres (5,200 ft) gravel runway with two services weekly to Alice Springs, and Royal Flying Doctor Service transport as required. It also has a community hall, women's centre, health clinic, football oval, basketball court and 25-metre indoor swimming pool.
The first Indigenous-run police station in Western Australia is at Warakurna, set up some years ago and already showing some positive effects. Filmmaker Cornel Ozies, who made a documentary about the station, called Our Law and shown at the 2020 Sydney Film Festival, puts the success of the program down to four things: "respect, understanding, communication, and education". The two Noongar police officers learnt the local Ngaanyatjarra language and cultural protocols of the people.
In popular culture
Warakurna is also mentioned in the Midnight Oil song "Warakurna" in their No #1 hit album "Diesel and Dust".
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Warakurna (L)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 27 July 2019.
- "Climate statistics for Australian locations: Giles". Bureau of Meteorology. Retrieved 27 July 2016.
- Hema, Maps (2006). Australia’s Great Desert Tracks NC Sheet (Map). Eight Mile Plains Queensland: Hema Maps. ISBN 978-1-86500-163-0.
- "Warakurna Campus". Ngaanyatjarra Lands School. Retrieved 3 October 2016.
- "Warakurna (Giles)". Planning Western Australia. Western Australian Planning Commission. 9 January 2013. Retrieved 3 October 2016.
- "Warakurna". Shire of Ngaanyatjarraku. Retrieved 3 October 2016.
- Bracken, Claire (15 June 2020). "Our Law: Inside Western Australia's first Indigenous-run police station". triple j. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 17 June 2020.
- "Our Law". Sydney Film Festival. Retrieved 17 June 2020.