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Ngukurr is located near the Roper River in south-east Arnhem Land, about 330 km south-east of Katherine on the Roper Highway.

Aboriginal people have inhabited this region for more than 40,000 years. The Yugul Mangi people have various different languages and cultures but they share a common history.

In 1908 the Church of England started the Roper River Mission. In 1940 the mission moved to the present site of Ngukurr because of flooding. This was the first missionary-managed settlement of East Arnhem Land. The Australian Government took over the mission in 1968.

In 1988 the Yugul Mangi Aboriginal Corporation was registered and began to provide local government. In 2008 Ngukurr became part of the Roper Gulf Shire Council and the shire took over local government.

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