Bagot Community is Darwin’s
oldest town camp.

Currently Bagot community is comprised of Indigenous families from approximately twenty clan groups from around the Northern Territory. Bagot Reserve was established in 1938. Originally, it was 300 hectares and went to the coast. Most of the Kahlin Compound residents were moved into Bagot in 1939.

In 1940 Bagot buildings were handed over to the Army, full-blood residents were removed to Belyuen and a camp at Berrimah. In 1941, the government handed over care of mixed race children to the missions who were responsible for evacuating the children from Darwin.

Most of the mixed race children were sent to church homes in New South Wales and South Australia. At a conference in 1937 of state and federal officials called by the Federal Government, assimilation for some Aboriginal people is adopted as official policy.

After WWII Native Affairs resumed control of Bagot. People started returning to Bagot in 1951. In 1948 all full blood people were made wards of the state and all full blood people were compelled to live at Bagot until 1964 when they were granted full citizenship rights.

During the 1950s and 60’s 250-400 people lived at Bagot. In 1946 the Retta Dixon Home for “half caste” was established on-site although a fence divided the home from the Bagot community where the full blood Aboriginal people lived.

In 1962 a subdivision was approved seeing Bagot divided up and Ludmilla suburb was established in 1965 leaving Bagot with 23 hectares and removing access to the coast.


Bagot, My Home 

In the film playing at the top of this page, people connected to Bagot share their stories about growing up in and around the community.

Please note that there are frequent references to parents, some of whom are now deceased. 

Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander viewers should also note that the film may contain images of deceased people.

Note: Click on the film to pause play. 

Kieren Sanderson – Producer and Co-Director

Naina Sen – Co-Director/ Editor

James Courtney - Videographer

Proudly produced with the
Bagot Community in 2014

“Our house was situated between the half-caste community on one side and the native quarter on the other….they were packed into these huts like sardines…"

(Rotuman in Wells 1995:27)