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  • Writer's pictureBeverley Skurulis

Kalumburu baobabs

Updated: 4 days ago

Kalumburu is the most remote permanent settlement in Western Australia and is located on the King Edward River, 550 kilometres from Kununurra and about 270klms North of the Gibb River Road.

No.49.   in my series of short stories.

Boabs painted on glass and kiln fired
Kalumburu baobabs

Around 2003 my daughter acquired a job working at the Kalumburu community store, this was only a short while after my husband "her father" had passed away. She thought this would be a very different job and it would help her to get into some new scenery. A few weeks after she had started work she called to ask me if I would like to visit. This would provide me with a change of scenery and a chance to step away from the memories.

A few days later I caught a flight North to Port Hedland then on to Kununurra and a light plane with a lovely young lady pilot to take me out to the community of Kalumburu. It wasn't long after a cyclone and the land was so picturesque from above. The King Edward and the Drysdale river were raging and the pilot asked me if I would like a flight up and down the coast while we were there. Of course that was a no brainer, the rivers were pushing a massive amount of brown/red water and as it entered the Indian Ocean it looked like an enormous mushroom with the contrast of it moving into the aqua/turquoise water, it was a sight to be seen. Nature has a way of creating stunning scenes, especially in the aftermath of natural events like cyclones.

The flight into Kalumburu gave me so many ideas for my art and Kalumburu baobabs as seen above were drawn on lots of my glass art. With my two daughters we did a substantial amount of glass to sell in the Art Gallery

We were housed at Kalumburu in a fenced compound with a locked gate. Often venturing out to explore, I picked up so many ideas, so at a later date I could use them in my paintings or glass works, just like the above Kalumburu baobabs painted on glass


There were a few aboriginal artists in the community and the one that particularly stood out was Lily Karadada. Lily became a friend and on leaving Kalumburu she sold several paintings of the Wandjina to us. Lily signed her paintings with a cross.

They are proudly hanging on our walls. My daughter also has an etching done by Rosie Karadada in it it has the Wandjina and hand made aboriginal tools.

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