- Published: Monday, 28 April 2014 16:31
At Wadeye and at Werntek Nganayi there were Aboriginal people living on the land. The Aboriginal people fished and hunted and lived in family groups for thousands of years.
Before the first contact with white men, Maccasans came in by boat and traded for trepang (sea slug) with the Aboriginal people living along the coast.
The Government invited Fr Docherty MSC to set up a mission in the Port Keats area. In 1935 he began the mission at Werntek Nganayi (Old Mission).
Because the place was not good for gardening or houses, he looked for another site which would be a good place to build houses.
He found there was good flowing water and soil for gardening, a landing site for planes and good landing for the boat to come in.
The people moved all their things from Werntek Nganayi to Wadeye by boat and started building houses and planting gardens.
In 1941 some nuns came and started the school.
Our Lady of the Sacred Heart School
1899 born in Urwin Western Australia
1927 ordained as priest, Missionaries of the Sacred Heart (M.S.C.)
1928 came to Darwin
1935 came to Werntek Nganayi
1939 moved to Wadeye
1958 went to Sydney
1959 went to Hammond Island Torres Strait
1968 moved to Darwin
1972 moved to Daly River
1978 awarded Order of Australia
1979 died in Perth; buried back at Port Keats Wadeye near the new church ground.
Today Port Keats is a community with about 2000 people from different clan groups and languages.
There are seven languages; the main language that is spoken around Wadeye is Murrinhpatha.
Adults and children speak this language to communicate but their own language is spoken at home.
Wadeye Community Photo's
Kardu Numida Health Centre
Kardu Nimda Club
Wadeye Tradional Credit Union
Wadeye Community Police
Mia Patha - Takeaway
Kardu Nimida Art and Craft Centre being built