Hooker Creek Native Settlement, 550 kilometres south west of Katherine, was established by the government in 1948. A large number of Aboriginal people from Yuendumu Native Settlement were moved there. A school opened in 1954 but no dormitories were used. Missionaries from the Australian Baptist Home Mission resided there from 1962. The settlement was handed over to the local community in 1978 and became known as Lajamanu.
Hooker Creek Native Settlement was established by the government in 1948, 550 kilometres south west of Katherine. The site was selected for the resettlement of a significant number of Warlpiri people from the Yuendumu Native Settlement due to overcrowding and conflict.
The Warlpiri were transported to the new settlement by truck. On two occasions the group walked the 600 kilometres back to Yuendumu, but were trucked back again to Hooker Creek.
By 1953 the settlement comprised 160 people, including 46 children. A 1954 article in the West Australian newspaper, penned by the school teacher, describes the temporary school room as 'an angle-iron shed' in which the children sit at a 'home-made bench.'
During 1955-56 a new school building and residences for a superintendent and teaching staff were built. No dormitories were built.
Missionaries from the Australian Baptist Home Mission began to visit Hooker Creek during the early 1950s. The first resident missionaries arrived at the settlement in 1962. The focus of their work was on establishing a church and teaching Christianity to the people.
In 1978 Hooker Creek Native Settlement was handed over to Aboriginal Community control. The settlement was renamed Lajamanu.
Sources used to compile this entry: 'Life and Letters', The West Australian (Perth, Western Australia), 27 March 1954, p. 36, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article49625368; 'Northern Territory Police - Lajamanu', in Northern Territory Police, Fire and Emergency Services, Northern Territory Police, Northern Territory Government, 2010; 'Northern Territory: Protectors /Administration / Welfare Branch reports', in To remove and protect: laws that changed Aboriginal lives, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, 2010, http://aiatsis.gov.au/collections/collections-online/digitised-collections/remove-and-protect/northern-territory; Brown, Tasman; Townsend, Grant C; Pinkerton, Sandra K; Rogers, James R, Yuendumu, Legacy of a longitudinal growth study in Central Australia, University of Adelaide Press, Adelaide, South Australia, 2011, http://www.adelaide.edu.au/press/titles/yuendumu/Yuendumu-EBook.pdf; Jordan, Rev. Ivan, Baptists in Australia: Brief History of Baptist Ministry to the Indigenous People of Central Australia, Baptists in Australia, 1999, http://web.archive.org/web/20160604192408/http://www.bwa-baptist-heritage.org/bap-ab.htm; 'Lajamanu region - the edge of the Tanami', in Oz Outback, http://ozoutback.com.au/Australia/lajamanu/index.html; Northern Territory Administration Report 1953-55 and 1959.
Prepared by: Karen George and Gary George
Created: 14 February 2011, Last modified: 7 November 2018