Utopia Region

Utopia is an Aboriginal freehold property formed in November 1978, approximately 250 km north east of Alice Springs. A former cattle station, it was sold back to the government in 1975 and handed back to the traditional owners – the Anmatyerre and Alyawarre people. It covers an area of 3,500 square kilometres, transected by the Sandover River, and lies on a traditional boundary of the Alyawarra and Anmatyarre people, the two language groups which predominate there today.

Approximately 800 Anmatyarre and Alyawarre people (their close relatives) live on outstations or camps on the western side of the Sandover River on Utopia. These include Atneltye (Boundary Bore), Lyentye (Mosquito Bore), Atnarare – (Soakage Bore), Arawerre (Soapy Bore), Irrweltyr, Ingkwelaye (Kurrajong Bore), Ahalpere Store, Ankerrapw (Utopia Homestead) and Artekerre (Three Bores, Camel Camp).

A community-owned store together with the council offices makes up a municipal centre at the largest outstation, Arlparra. Five small schools are distributed among the outstations, and a bus provides transportation to children who do not live at one of these.

A medical clinic is staffed by a doctor, several nurses and a group of local health workers. The clinic delivers most of its services at the outstations by way of a schedule of weekly visits. Funding of essential services is provided by direct Commonwealth grants to the Aboriginal Corporation via the Community Council and the Health Council. The Northern Territory Government provides the educational infrastructure and budgets.