About Gunbalanya School

Gunbalanya School is located in the West Arnhem Land across the East Alligator River in the Northern Territory. Gunbalanya School is located in the Kunbarllanjnja community (or Gunbalanya), approximately 320km east of Darwin on the eastern border of Kakadu National Park.

Kunbarllanjnja is a community of approximately 1500; the main language is Kunwinjku, used by many residents as a first language. The traditional owners of the land where the community is located are the Mandjurlngunj clan; there are 25 clan groups in total.

Road access via 4WD is only possible in the dry season. During the wet season, from December to May, Gunbalanya is completely cut-off from the rest of Australia, as rising water from the Alligator River surrounds the township. 

To accommodate students’ education requirements along with their customs Gunbalanya School has rearranged its school calendar to align more closely with the indigenous calendar allowing students and families to undertake traditional ceremonies during the dry season by commencing school earlier in the wet season.  View the YouTube video on this exciting initiative.