Population – Approximately 25 people

 Distance/Location from Derby – Approximately 623 km Northeast

 Approved Community Layout Plan – Yes (endorsed June 2010)

The Kandiwal Community is located in a highly remote part of the Kimberley some 250 km north of the Gibb River Road. While the ties to the Kandial area go back many generations, the physical manifestation of the Kandiwal community is very young.

The residents of Kandiwal are members of the Wunambal language group and observe Wunambal customs and practices. Members also have ties with the Gaambera and Ngarinyin groups and all three groups move between the communities.  Historically the majority of the Wunambal people were coerced west to Kunmunya mission during the 1940s and 50s, and again moved further south to Wotjulam camp, closer to Derby. When the Wotjulum camp was later closed, people were made to relocate again to Mowanjum, just outside Derby.

The Ngauwudu mob began trying to return to their traditional country in the 1950s. In the mid 1960s Conzinc Riotinto Australia constructed an exploration camp for several years on the present site of Kandiwal. When the miners left they auctioned everything but the concrete foundations. The Ngauwudu mob took over the Kandiwal site to create the Kandiwal community of today. Current development of sheds and houses for the community began in the 1990’s.

The Kandiwal area is extremely rich in Aboriginal rock art, in both the Wandjina and Bradshaw styles. While there have been efforts to care for many of the accessible natural galleries by Government organisations and representatives, only recently have the Kandiwal people been included in discussions and initiatives of this nature.

The approved Community Layout Plan prepared by the Department of Planning provides a framework for the future growth and development of the community. A copy of the approved Community Layout Plan can be obtained from the Department of Planning website by clicking here.