Peppimenarti was founded in the mid 70s as a permanent settlement for the Ngan’gikurrunggurr people. ‘Peppi’ translates as rock and ‘menarti’ as large, referring to the rock formation that overlooks the community. At its base is a wide stream and a series of pools which is a significant, sacred site. The community is located 300km south west of Darwin and 100km from the Daly River crossing.
In the early 70s, the independent Aboriginal organization Unia campaigned for the establishment of a cattle station within the Daly River Aboriginal Reserve, and as a result a 2000sq. km. pastoral lease was granted, and later consolidated by the Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act in 1976. Harold Wilson, a prominent member of Unia, was instrumental in the community’s establishment. Wilson was born in Peppimenarti country, and after being removed from his family and sent to government institutions as a child, he decided to return there as an adult with his wife Regina and family, to set up a permanent settlement. He later became the President of the Peppimenarti Association and used his Aboriginal and European heritage to negotiate the ‘translation of Aboriginal needs into European contexts while preserving authentic Aboriginal voices in the decision making process’ (Robin Hodgson).
Since its establishment, Peppimenarti has been viewed as a success story on the Daly River and beyond.
Today, the community has a population of approximately 200 people.