Pirlangimpi is a populated place on Melville Island in the Northern Territory, Australia.[1]

Pirlangimpi lies two kilometres from the site of the first British settlement in northern Australia, the short-lived Fort Dundas. The present settlement, then called Garden Point, was established in 1937 as a police post, because of concerns about the activities of Japanese luggers.[2] In 1940 a mission was founded by the Roman Catholic Missionaries of the Sacred Heart as a home for mixed-blood children, both local part-Japanese and those removed from their families in other parts of the Northern Territory.[3]

Australian Rules football was introduced by Brother John Pye of the Catholic mission.[4] Three Norm Smith Medalists - Maurice Rioli, Michael Long and Cyril Rioli - were raised at the mission at Pirlangimpi.[5]

Marjorie Liddy, who grew up on the mission, provided an image that was widely used in Pope Benedict XVI's visit to World Youth Day 2008 in Sydney.[6]

The present community includes a primary school,[7] police station, small supermarket, club, health facility and airstrip.[8] Our Lady of Victories Catholic Church is the base of the Melville Island parish.[9]

The population is 371 (2011 census).[10]


  1. "Name of Community PIRLANGIMPI (Garden Point)" (PDF). Department of Health (Northern Territory). Government of the Northern Territory. 10 January 2012. Retrieved 4 October 2016.
  2. J. Pye, The Tiwi Islands, Kensington NSW, 1977, pp. 77-9.
  3. Garden Point, Melville Island 1940-1962; Thecla Brogan, ed, The Garden Point Mob, Historical Society of the Northern Territory, 1990.
  4. "Siren sounds for Tiwi Islands' 'father of football'". The Age. 1 June 2009. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
  5. Paul Toohey (Journalist) (10 October 2015). "Tiwi Islands community Pirlangimpi has produced three Norm Smith Medallists". Herald Sun. News Corp Australia. Retrieved 4 October 2016.
  6. "Marjorie Liddy a Vatican VIP". The Australian. 12 July 2008. Retrieved 11 November 2016.
  7. "Pularumpi School", Pularumpi School, retrieved 30 October 2016
  8. "Pirlangimpi" (PDF), RAHC Community Profile: Pirlangimpi, retrieved 20 November 2016
  9. "Melville Island parish", Melville Island Parish, retrieved 30 October 2016
  10. Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Pirlangimpi (L) (State Suburb)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 18 November 2016.

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