Ali Curung

The term Ali Curung is a Kaiditch (Kaytetye) word meaning country of the dogs, dog area, or dog dreaming.

The dogs here at Ali Curung are very important. They are connected to the ancestors. The ancestor dogs travelled this way in the spirit times, in dream times, and they left behind the marks of where they went. Some dogs have special powers, some can talk and some can predict things like when someone will die. Dogs are important in ceremonies. The dogs here are not to be hurt or harmed in any way. They cannot be put down however old or sick they get. Dogs have to lead their own natural life without interference from anyone." Graham Beasley, March 2016


The term Ali Curung is a Kaiditch (Kaytetye) word meaning country of the dogs, dog area, or dog dreaming. Totemic ancestors, including the ancestral dogs which travelled near Ali Curung, are believed to have created the landscape in their travels. The dogs that visited this area created the shallow watercourses and flood plains in this region.

Two important sites (dog dreaming sites) are within close proximity (6km) of the community. Ali Curung has adopted the dog as its official emblem to signify the importance of the ceremonial story. The emblem appears on all official Council correspondence and letterheads and on the Council seal. Due to their relationship to the ancestral stories and sacred sites in the area, all dogs are regarded as extremely important.

History: During the late 1950s, small groups of people were collected from around the region and relocated to Warrabri Settlement. These included Kaytetye people from Barrow Creek, Warlpiri people from Bullocky Creek areas and Alyawarra people from Murray Downs and Hatches Creek. Over 1,200 people populated Ali Curung in its early days. Warrabri was established in 1956 under its original name of ‘Warrabri Settlement’. The community changed its name to Ali Curung in 1978.

Services: Barkly Regional Council service centre, Warrabri Bakery, Minnirri Store, police station, safe house, Homemakers, Aged Care Service, Arlpwe Art Centre and Gallery, Baptist Church, health centre and a mechanical workshop.

Warrabri Bakery: Established by Mick Tsavaris in 1979 to provide fresh bread to the community daily, the bakery is still operated by the Tsarvaris family.

Minnirri Store: The original stored opened in the late 1960s as a community store providing food, merchandise and fuel. Currently managed by Outback Stores, the store is open Monday to Friday.

Arlpwe Art Gallery: Established by Arlpwe Artists Aboriginal Corporation on 30 June 2008, the centre currently employs 10 staff and sells Aboriginal artefacts such as boomerangs, nulla nulla, spears, jewellery, coolamons, and magnificent one-of-a-kind paintings by renowned artists of the area. The English translation of the Aboriginal word Arlpwe is "...this country all over, no waterhole, no rivers, only soakage and Spinifex country" (Mr Mick Waake).

Infrastructure: Ali Curung Advanced Water Treatment Plant opening in April 2013 and launch of Council water park in March 2016.