The Gadjerong are an indigenous Australian people of the Northern Territory, most of whom now live in northeastern Western Australia.


Geoffrey O'Grady classified their language, Gajirrabeng or Gajirrawoong, as one of two Mirriwongic languages, the other being Miriwoong.[1] More recent work has established it as a member of the Jarrkan group.[2] Gajirrabeng is at severe risk of extinction, with no more than perhaps 2 or 3 native speakers by 2013.[1] Frances Kofod compiled a dictionary of the language in 2007.[3]


Gadjerong lands encompassed 800 square miles (2,100 km2) in Norman Tindale's reckoning. They ran westwards along the rich ecosystems of mangrove flat, waterholes, creeks and waterfalls[4] along the coastal area from the mouth of the Fitzmaurice River as far as point where the Keep River flows out into the Joseph Bonaparte Gulf. Their inland extension, taking in also at Legune, went as far as the vicinity of Border Springs. They also frequented the offshore area of Quoin Island, and further north, Clump Island, and those off the mouth of Keyling Inlet.[5]


The implementation of the Ord River Irrigation scheme had a major impact on the Gadjerong and other tribes of the east Kimberley area. They were dispossessed of parts of their traditional tribal land and many sacred sites were destroyed.[6] In consequence they moved to the Aboriginal reserve in Kununurra. The extension of the principle of equal pay for equal work in 1969 to Aborigines likewise had a negative impact on peoples like the Gadjerong in the Kimberley region and the Northern Territory since the managers of pastoral leases evicted the majority of indigenous peoples on the land where they lived, with the collateral loss of employment and its substitution by welfare subsidies.[6]

Alternative names

  • Kadjerawang.
  • Kadjarong, Kadjeroen.
  • Kujera.
  • Ginmu.[5]



    1. McGregor 2013, p. 40.
    2. Hobson 2010, p. 146.
    3. Hobson 2010, p. 147.
    4. McWilliam 2006, p. 77-78.
    5. Tindale 1974, p. 228.
    6. Howitt 2002, p. 249.


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