Tjukurla (round shape rock hole)

This community started as an outstation of Docker River, and provisions etc were bought in from Docker River once a month. It was closed down after the death of two boys who decided to travel to Docker River. Tjukurla is situated at the edge of a large salt lake, Lake Hopkins and the surrounding country is sand and clay with desert oaks. It was re-opened again as an outstation of Warakurna in 1980.

Basket making is one of the craft specialties of the women in this community and they have a budding art programme. Many of the women participated in the 2000 Olympic Games, along with the women from several of the communities in the Ngaanyatjarra Lands. Sports and football are well loved in all of the communities and Tjukurla holds the championship for Aussie Rules in the lands, so far!

Contact Details

Community Address

Tjukurla Community WA

PMB 37

via Alice Springs NT 0872.

Telephone Number

  • Office 8956 7388

Facsimile Number

  • 8956 7389

Radio Call Sign

6 FLH Frequency Ngaanyatjarra 9303

Frequency RFDS 6950


Community Location

Within Ngaanyatjarraku Shire, Western Australia. *

Warburton Ward of ATSIC Western Desert Regional Council.

At Latitude 24 degrees 21.79 mins south

Longitude 128 degrees 44.15 mins east (G.P.s).

Community uses Central Standard Time.

Community Airstrip

  • Tjukurla airstrip (1800 m) approx.. 4 kilometres from Community.
  • Open for night emergency operations.
  • Has kerosene flares, and battery operated flares.

Ngaanyatjarra Air operates from Alice Springs Monday and Thursday. Ngurutjuta Air operates Alice Springs - Tjukurla each Wednesday, and Friday if required.

Road Access

  • Tjukurla located 94 kilometres north of the Ayers Rock/Warakurna Road.
  • Tjukurla is 810 kilometres by road from Alice Springs.
  • Ngaanyatjarraku Shire Council performs maintenance three (3) times a year, on Rebecca Creek - Tjukurla access road.


There is an urgent need for more recreational facilities in the community, particularly indoor activities for community youth.

  • A Sports and Recreation Officer has recently been appointed by the community.
  • A large community hall has been constructed to provide a focal point for community social, sporting and training activities.
  • Football oval.
  • Basketball court with lights.
  • One softball oval.

Hall/Community Centre

Community Recreation Hall constructed for general meetings. Indoor games and sports. Provides an entertainment and recreational centre for the community.


There is a BRACS facility and BRACS building for equipment and viewing.

Resident BRACS officer in community.

Satellite Communication

  • Satellite dish for TV re-broadcasts.
  • Provides 3 radio stations.
  • Have three (3) TV channels and one (1) video channel.
  • Community receives ABC, GWN and Imparja TV channels.

Community Library

At community school.

Community Laundry

Two community laundries.

Community Toilets/Ablutions

Two community toilets/ablutions.

Community Kitchen

Community kitchen located in Women's Centre.

Community Store

Large Store. Three (3) people employed in store under CDEP.

Community women receive store-worker training from manager.

Supplied from Perth by NATS on a fortnightly basis.

Store opened 5 hours daily, Monday to Friday, and 3 hours on Saturday. Fresh foods from Alice Springs comes through Docker River, every three weeks, plus fortnightly Perth supply of fresh foods.

Community Women's Facilities

Established Women's Centre. Provides community kitchen facilities. Provides Meals on Wheels.

Provides fabric printing, dressmaking, and artefact-making facilities.

Supervised by Women's Centre Co-ordinator. Part-time position. Unfunded as at 1 April 1997.

Aged People's Facilities

Six houses are dedicated aged-people's homes. $5 per week rental for maintenance.

Community Family Services

There is a single's quarters and five shelter-type houses are available for transients, or for other community-approved use.

Children's Day Care Centre, at Women's Centre.

Community Fire Service

Fire hydrants are to be installed.

Trailer fire pump will then be necessary to provide pressure needed for fire-fighting.

Community Ambulance Service

The resident nurse's vehicle is equipped for stretcher-carrying use.

Community Emergency Evacuation

Royal Flying Doctor Service, Kalgoorlie provides an on-call emergency evacuation service. Also to Alice Springs hospital.

Community airstrip has kerosene flares for night operations. Battery operated flares.

Community Mechanical Workshop/Depot

Community Workshop is operated as a CDEP enterprise, staffed by a Project Officer/Trainer, and offers three full time positions to community people under CDEP.

Community Fuel Depot

Fuel Depot is operated by Community Store.

  • Has 26,000 litre above ground diesel storage.
  • Has 16,000 litre under ground Avgas storage.

Community Housing

There are 20 fully serviced community residences.

  • All have septic tank systems, except for Nos 5, 6, 9 and 12 with pit latrines.
  • All houses are permanent structures, on concrete slabs, and with either brick walls or metal frames, and metal cladding.
  • All houses are insulated.
  • All houses fitted with fans.
  • There are 7 staff houses.
  • There is a 2 bedroom, self contained visitors quarters.
  • There is a dormitory-type ATCO workers quarters.


Community-run Enterprises

There are two community enterprises.

  1. A market garden/orchard.
  2. The Community Store and Fuel Agency.


  • 8 full time community artists and 8 full time artefact makers have held a successful art/artefacts exhibition at a Perth gallery.
  • Community Arts Workshop to be re-arranged as a community enterprise.


Community Management

  • Community council has 10 members and a chairman.
  • A governing committee of 5 members (includes chairman, secretary, treasurer) meets as necessary to deal with community business.

Ngaanyatjarra Council meets monthly at nominated communities. Each community council chairman and other interested members attend these meetings to consider policy and management agenda, and make decisions.

Community Administration Services

A Community Development Advisor co-ordinates day to day community activities under the direction of the Governing Committee.

A project officer manages the CDEP programme and community essential services.

Ngaanyatjarra Services, Alice Springs-based resource service, provides accounting and financial management, building and maintenance services.

Resource Agency Assistance To Community

Ngaanyatjarra Services, Alice Springs, provides financial and management services to community. It prepares and forwards cash for all weekly pays from Alice Springs to community.

Ngaanyatjarra Air, Alice Springs, provides two (2) regular weekly air services from Alice Springs to community.

Ngaanyatjarra Health Service provides a resident nursing sister and Community Health Clinic.

Ngaanyatjarra Agency and Transport Service (NATS), Perth-based wholesale and transport service provides goods and transport from Perth to the community store. One frozen foods and one dry goods delivery per fortnight.

Shire of Ngaanyatjarraku Environmental Health & Building surveyor, makes monthly inspections.

Community fuel stocks are arranged by Ngaanyatjarra owned Ampol Agency, Alice Springs, for supply from South Australia.

Aboriginal Buying Service, Alice Springs, assists with supply of stores and equipment as necessary.

Community Services


Ngaanyatjarra Health Service provides resident nurse and operates community clinic.

  • 2 community people employed as Health Workers.
  • Royal Flying Doctor Service visits community every fortnight, for general clinic.
  • Resident dentist from Warakurna available for periodic visits. Two hours drive from community.
  • 1 Environmental Health Worker resident in Community.
  • Emergency evacuation service from Royal Flying Doctor Service, Kalgoorlie.
  • Community dog health programme provided by visiting vet.

Community School Facilities:

  • There is a pre-primary school within community.
  • There is a primary school facility within the community.
  • The two schools are staffed by 3 resident teachers.
  • 2 community students attend Wiltja High School, Adelaide, S.A.
  • 3 Teachers Aids, part-time. Paid by CDEP.
  • Share school bus with Warburton.

Law/Order And Justice Services

  • Closest police post, Warakurna unmanned.
  • Community has three (3) wardens.
  • Community patrols regularly carried out.
  • Community has no Liaison Officer.
  • Police presence in the community is by way of a weekly visit by police from Laverton, some 850 kilometres west of Tjukurla.


CDEP is the most important employment service in the community. It provides employment to 30 community members.

Employment Programmes

  • 58 community members employed in CDEP.
  • 9 community members employed in community store.
  • 2 health workers employed under CDEP.
  • 3 education workers employed under CDEP.
  • 1 full-time and 1 part-time position in the community workshop.

Essential Services

The CDEP/Project Officer is responsible for supervision of the community essential services.

Community Sewerage

No community sewerage system.

  • 27 septic tanks.
  • 4 pit latrines.
  • No deep sewerage connections.
  • 2 community public toilets.
  • 1 community laundry.

Community Rubbish Collection

Community rubbish collection on a daily basis by CDEP personnel.

  • Rubbish is burnt in open pit, which is dug and filled by Ngaanyatjarraku Shire Council.

Community Water Supply

Community water supplied from three bores (1, 2, 3) located 2, 4 and 5 kilometres from community.

  • Bores deliver at 100, 95 and 30 litres per minute.
  • 130, 000 litre storage.
  • Water quality is good. Tested monthly. All community houses connected to water supply.
  • Water monitoring carried out by CPA on a quarterly basis.
  • 2 diesel and 1 solar power pumps for water supply.

Community Power Supply

  • 3 diesel generators. 1 x 150 KVA, 1 x 100 KVA, 1 x 75 KVA.
  • Power supplied on 24 hour basis. Reliable supply.
  • Power diesel fuel storage is 29,000 litres.


Tjukurla is located in the "tali" (sandhill) country on the edge of Lake Hopkins, halfway between Warakurna Community in WA and Kintore (Walungurru) Community in the NT. The residents are mostly Ngaanyatjarra speaking people.

In the early 80's a bore was put down near the present Tjukurla Community as part of the outstation movement from Docker River community. In mid 1981 an outstation was established at Kintore which provided an opportunity for those living at Papunya to move west, closer to their traditional lands.  From Kintore many people moved to Tjukurla as that community’s infrastructure developed. Residents also came from Warakurna and Docker River. And a few came from Warburton.

By 1986 the community was permanently occupied and in the following year it became incorporated and a member of the Ngaanyatjarra Council.