Bagot Community

Bagot Community is an Aboriginal community in Ludmilla, a northern suburb of the city of Darwin, in the Northern Territory of Australia. Established in 1938 as the Bagot Aboriginal Reserve, when the Aboriginal residents were moved from the Kahlin Compound, it was also sometimes referred to as the Bagot Road Aboriginal Reserve.

Bagot Community
Darwin, Northern Territory
Bagot Community
Bagot Community
Coordinates12.415142°S 130.855726°E / -12.415142; 130.855726
Population265 (2016 census)[1]
Location6.5 km (4 mi) from Darwin
LGA(s)City of Darwin
Territory electorate(s)Fong Lim
Federal Division(s)Solomon
Localities around Bagot Community:
Coconut Grove
Ludmilla Bagot Community Darwin International Airport

In 1979 it became a self-governing community, administered by an Aboriginal Community Council and known as the Bagot Aboriginal Community, but signposted and commonly known as the Bagot Community.


The Bagot Aboriginal Reserve was established in 1938, when all Aboriginal residents were moved from the Kahlin Compound. The Retta Dixon Home was located at the reserve.[2]

The Reserve was named after John Tuthill Bagot, who was the Chief Secretary in the Strangways ministry of South Australia from 1868 to 1870.[3]

In 1954, 22 boys from the reserve travelled to Toowoomba to perform a corroboree for Queen Elizabeth II.[4]

In the late 1970s the Reserve was handed over to Aboriginal custodians; thereafter it was known as the Bagot Aboriginal Community,[2] but commonly referred to as the Bagot Community

Recent history

Bagot Community is run by the Bagot Community Incorporated (BCI). It faced financial difficulties in 2015 and was reportedly in administration with debts of more than $700,000.[5] Commercial development of about 3 hectares (7.4 acres) of the Bagot Community site was then proposed. President of BCI Helen Fejo-Frith stated the development would "enable the Bagot Community to have a sustainable future".[6]

Poor housing, alcohol problems and violence were cited as major concerns by residents in the run-up to the 2013 Australian election. Although the permanently resident population is only about 250 people, during the wet season, this can grow to 500–700, leading to chronic overcrowding.[7]

In September 2013, moves to make Bagot into a suburb of Darwin were mooted, with the Northern Territory Government and the Larrakia Development Corporation (LDC) planning to turn Bagot into a normal suburb, embedded in Ludmilla. However Bagot Community Council said it would fight any attempts to hand over control to the LDC.[8] For many years, the Larrakia were the predominant group at Bagot, but as of 2012, according to a paper by anthropologist Dr Bill Day, only two Larrakia families remained living permanently in the community.[9]

A community celebration known as "The Bagot Festival" was held as part of Darwin Festival in 2014, featuring music, dance and art.[10] In 2015, a painting project was undertaken at the community which saw a series of murals painted on the houses.[11]

A project to upgrade much of the housing and infrastructure in Bagot was undertaken from 2018 to 2019 by the NT Government through its Town Camps Futures Unit.[12]


The Bagot Clinic, a primary health care unit, is on Bagot Road.[13]


  1. Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "2016 Community Profiles: Bagot (Indigenous Location)". 2016 Census of Population and Housing. Retrieved 4 December 2019. Quickstats view
  2. "Bagot Aboriginal Reserve (1938 - 1978)". Find and Connect. Retrieved 22 November 2019.
  3. "Territory Origins". Place Names Committee of the Northern Territory. Northern Territory Government. Retrieved 5 April 2013.
  4. "Bagot Natives Corroboree". Northern Standard. 9, (11). Northern Territory, Australia. 18 March 1954. p. 6. Retrieved 2 October 2016 via National Library of Australia.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  5. Daly, Nadia (30 October 2015). "Bagot Aboriginal community in Darwin goes into administration". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. ABC News. Retrieved 2 October 2016.
  6. Terzon, Emilia (15 September 2016). "Shopping centre proposed to get Indigenous community Bagot out of financial strife". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 105.7 ABC Darwin. Retrieved 2 October 2016.
  7. Davidson, Helen (30 August 2013). "Election 2013: 'Politicians should come and live in this house here for a week'". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 December 2019.
  8. "Plans to make Bagot a Darwin suburb gather pace". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. ABC News. 17 September 2013. Retrieved 5 December 2019.
  9. Day, Bill. "Aboriginal people of Darwin: the Bagot Community" (PDF). Retrieved 5 December 2019. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  10. Moodie, Georgia (18 August 2014). "Darwin Festival celebrates Bagot community". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. RN Books and Arts. Retrieved 2 October 2016.
  11. Terzon, Emilia; Kerrigan, Vicki (5 November 2015). "Bagot community painted with Darwin's Indigenous history". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 105.7 ABC Darwin. Retrieved 2 October 2016.
  12. "Upgrades to Bagot Community". Northern Territory Government. Dept of Local Government, Housing and Community Development. 12 December 2018. Retrieved 5 December 2019.
  13. "Bagot Clinic". Danila Dilba Health Service. Retrieved 5 December 2019.

Further reading

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