Milyakburra community is situated on the central eastern section Bickerton Island, in the Anindilyakwa Ward approximately 620kms east-south-east of Darwin, and 8 km east of the mainland, between Groote Eylandt and Blue Mud Bay, north of Numbulwar - 13 km west of Groote Eylandt and the mining town of Alyangula, which was established in 1965 by Groote Eylandt Mining Company Pty Ltd (GEMCO).

Milyakburra is approximately one hour by boat from Alyangula on Groote Eylandt. However, apart from the fortnightly Perkins Shipping freight barge service from Darwin to South Bay, Milyakburra is generally accessed by air. A sealed airstrip is located within 5 minutes walk of the community and can accommodate twin engine light aircraft. Travel time to Alyangula 15 minutes, Nhulunbuy 30-40 minutes. Milyakburra has no sealed roads.

The 2011 ABS Census recorded the current population at approximately 176 permanent residents.

Local government

The East Arnhem Regional Council provides local government in Milyakburra, which sits within the Anindilyakwa Ward. In 2012 the Anindilyakwa Ward elected two (2) of the fourteen (14) Regional Council members. The Council’s headquarters are in Nhulunbuy and it has a service delivery centre in Milyakburra.

The Council Services Manager, in cooperation with the Community Liaison Officer, consults local people through the Local Authority.

Land council

The Anindilyakwa Land Council represents the Aboriginals of the Groote Eylandt archipelago. It is responsible for matters under the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976.

This includes:

  • checking, representing and responding to the wishes and opinions of local Indigenous people about legislation, tourism, development and commercial activities that affect traditional land,
  • helping traditional landowners claim, manage and protect the land, and
  • being the first point of contact between Groote Eylandt traditional landowners and the Groote Eylandt Mining Corporation on all land-related issues and the payment of royalties.