Banumbirr by Gali Yalkarriwuy Gurruwiwi

Banumbirr by Gali Yalkarriwuy Gurruwiwi

Elcho Island Arts is located in Galiwin’ku, Elcho Island off the north-east coast of Arnhem Land. Our artists are renowned for their originality in design and knowledge of traditional bush materials. Their artworks, weavings, fibre art, carvings and ceremonial poles are widely exhibited and are in national collections within Australia and in major collections worldwide. Elcho Island Arts was relaunched in 2018 under the direction of senior artists Mavis Warrngilna Ganambarr and Judy Manany, painter Peter Datjin Burarrwanga, and custodian of the Banumbirr Morning Star Pole, Gali Yalkarriwuy Gurruwiwi. The art centre assists emerging and established artists from Galiwin’ku and surrounding Marthakal homelands in artwork production, professional development and the promotion and distribution of Yolngu art and design.

Community-operated since 1992, the art centre exists primarily to support Yolŋu artists to share their culture and derive income from their art making.  

The art centre’s stable of artists include nationally and internationally profiled artists including renowned fibre artist Mavis Warrngilna Ganambarr, painter Peter Datjin Bararrwanga, carver and weaver Judy Manany  and senior custodian of the Banumbirr Morning Star Pole, Gali Yalkarriwuy Gurruwiwi, as well as other established and emerging artists.



Marthakal Homelands Resource Centre (MHRC) incorporated in 1986 as a community initiated, owned and run Yolngu organisation that exists to support and facilitate the growth of its 30 homelands.

Within this scope Marthakal is responsible for the provision of services, along with economic and social development, to the homelands that house over 500 residents across and area of 15,000 square kilometers in North East Arnhem Land, Northern Territory.  This area is collectively known as the Marthakal Homelands and home to the Yolŋu people.  MHRC operates from its head office located at Galiwin’ku, on Elcho Island.

The population of Galiwin’ku is approximately 2,200 people.  Galiwin’ku is the largest community on Elcho Island, with many smaller surrounding outstations becoming inaccessible during the wet season. Many outstation residents migrate to Galiwin’ku during this period.


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Senior clan Mala (Group) representatives form the MHRC Executive to inform and direct the organisation in relation to the management of the 30 homelands within the MHRC region, and the land use interests of their individual and collective clans.  The Mala leaders meet quarterly to consider and discuss the strategic approach of the organisation, including relevant policy development and executive decision making.

The Mala leaders as the executive members have delegated certain operational responsibility and authority for the Marthakal Homeland Resource Centre to the CEO and CFO, who are supported by a strong Management Team.




Elcho Island Arts is supported by Ministry for the Arts, through their Indigenous Visual Arts Industry Support (IVAIS)  and Indigenous Employment Initiative (IEI) programs.


Elcho Island Arts has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.



Elcho Island Arts is a signatory to the Indigenous Art Code, which aims to ensure fair dealings with artists