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Warmun Community



The photo was taken the day the women met to make the final decision to create the book about Queenie, it is shown with respect for them and their leadership. The intention of the book was always to bring financial benefit to the women, as they requested, to assist them to keep culture strong and this has been achieved, for the purpose of keeping Queenie's legacy alive .

The Warmun Community (previously known as Turkey Creek Community) is located at the very top of Western Australia, a vast remote wilderness. Aboriginal people in this community are predominantly from the Gija language group. The community is 200 klm south of the town of Kununurra, and slightly north of the magnificent world heritage listed National Park known as Purnululu or Bungles as it used to be called.


The old settlement at Turkey Creek was formerly an outback police station and rations depot that was established in the 1880's in an effort to manage the horrific conflicts between indigenous people and white settlers. White settlers came to take up land and establish vast cattle stations. The first cattle station established in the area in 1897 was Texas Downs Station, where Queenie spent most of her life until she was resettled to the community along with many others who had later been forced off the stations, and their traditional lands.


Warmun Community (spelt Warrmarn, yet referred to in the other way) was established as a community during the 1970's. It became the new home of many ‘mobs' from the surrounding areas known as Bow River, Violet Valley, Lissadell, Mabel Downs, Alice Downs and others, all large cattle stations that had eventually consumed Gija peoples traditional lands. When the community was established the groups formed into areas that represented the location they had come from - so the camps (places people now called home within the boundaries of the new community) became known as Top Camp, Bottom Camp, Middle Camp, Garden Area and Other Side. Other Side was on the other side of the Turkey Creek, that ran north to south directly adjacent to the community and this was the area that Queenie had set up her new camp (home). Turkey Creek is a tributary of the mighty Bow River.


During the past thirty years Warmun has grown considerably, and now has the reputation of being the producer of some of the most sought after Aboriginal artworks in the world. Some outstanding artists have lived at Warmun Community, such as Queenie McKenzie, Rover Thomas, Jack Britten and the youth of the community having been inspired by such masters are now themselves producing amazing paintings. You can visit the community art centre online at or if you are lucky enough to find your way to the Kimberley you can visit in person. Queenie of course inspired and mentored many of the artists whose work you will see at the centre, particularly Mabel Juli who was one of Queenie's first students who also began her painting later in life.

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