Amata, South Australia

Aboriginal community in South Australia

Amata is an Aboriginal community in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands in South Australia. It is in the north of the APY, between Umuwa and Nyapari. It is at the base of the Musgrave Ranges, about 250 kilometres (160 mi) west of the Stuart Highway. Amata was established under the name of Musgrave Park in 1961. The community was set up to take the pressure off the growth of nearby Pukatja (then known as Ernabella). The goal was to use it to teach the Aborigines in how to work in the livestock industry. A school was opened 7 years later, in 1968.

South Australia
Amata 2013.jpg
Amata is located in South Australia
Coordinates26°09′S 131°08′E / 26.150°S 131.133°E / -26.150; 131.133Coordinates: 26°09′S 131°08′E / 26.150°S 131.133°E / -26.150; 131.133
Population479 (2011 census)[1]
Elevation690 m (2,264 ft)
Location1,407 km (874 mi) North West of Adelaide via Australian National Route A1.svg Australian National Route A87.svg
LGA(s)Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara
State electorate(s)Giles
Federal Division(s)Grey
Mean max temp Mean min temp Annual rainfall
37.1 °C
99 °F
5.0 °C
41 °F
222.6 mm
8.8 in

About 319 people lived at Amata in the 2006 census. It appears to have a growing population, which is not the usual pattern for Aboriginal communities in Australia. From 180 residents in 1981, it has grown steadily past 350 in the 1990s,[2] to 536 in 1996.[3]

Amata is made up of about 60 houses. There is a school, a general store and a health clinic. Supplies are delivered once per week and mail is delivered twice per week. Water comes from bores and is stored in tanks.[4] The school was renovated by the state government from 2003–2005. A swimming pool was opened in June 2007. Amata also has a community centre, a community church,[5] and an airstrip.

There is a police station at Amata, but they are not always there; state police are based in Marla and run patrols to the area. Some night patrols by residents have been done in the past to help policing of the community. In the absence of police, the community is served by 2 community constables.[6] Tony Abbott suggested in 2007 there should be police at Amata permanently.[7] In response, the state government said it would spend A$7.5 million at Amata and Pukatja for new police stations, court facilities and prison cells. It would also provide housing for police officers.[8]

The sale of local artwork is important to the economy of the Amata community. Tjala Arts, founded in 1999, displayed the works of seven Amata artists in Canberra in 2006.[9] In the 2007 State Budget, the South Australian Government announced $350,000 for a new arts centre in Amata.[10]


  1. "2011 Census QuickStats".
  2. Summers, John (29 September 2004). "Refereed paper presented to the Australasian Political Studies Association Conference" (PDF). School of Political and International Studies Flinders University. University of Adelaide. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-09-06.
  3. "Anangu population dynamics and future growth in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park" (PDF). Australian National University.
  4. Downing, James D. (2000). "Water Softening Trials in a Remote Central Australian Community". Amata Aboriginal Community Trials. Canberra: Land & Water Sciences Division, Bureau of Rural Sciences, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Australia. Archived from the original on 29 August 2007.
  5. Uniting Church in Australia. "List of congregations". Archived from the original on 11 December 2008.
  6. "SA Police Association" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-02-07. Retrieved 2012-10-28.
  7. Abott, Tony (28 May 2007). "An independent assessment of policing in remote indigenous communities". Archived from the original on 28 September 2007.
  8. "$34 million package for the APY Lands" (Press release). South Australian government. 3 August 2007. Archived from the original on 30 August 2007. Retrieved 28 October 2012.
  9. "Review – Art of Amata women". The Canberra Times. Federal Capital Press of Australia Ltd. 23 August 2006.[permanent dead link]
  10. "'07 state budget Aboriginal arts". The Advertiser. 8 June 2007.

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