On Monday 5th June 2023 the Mates of the Murranji had their third Muster at Newcastle Waters Historic Township. This annual event saw 30 Mates (new and old) travel from QLD, WA, SA, VIC and NSW, with two thirds coming from across the Northern Territory.

This date was chosen because the day prior, (Sunday 4th June) represents the 97th anniversary of the assent of the Northern Australia Act 1926 by the Commonwealth of Australia, of which Section 47 reads:

The seat of Government of North Australia shall be established as soon as practicable at Newcastle Waters, and until the seat of Government is so established it shall be at Darwin.

There were also some special guests at this year’s Muster - students and staff from Newcastle Waters School. These Aboriginal students from the Marlinja Community are currently learning about local history as part of a school project, and so had an ‘excursion’ to the Junction Hotel (which they go past every day to get to school) to hear some living history.

The eventual restoration of the Newcastle Waters Historic Township, along with the subsequent tourism growth of tourism in the area, will clearly impact these students, their families and the whole Marlinja Community, so these early positive interactions and connections is incredibly heartening and positive.

After catching up with the news from Krafty, reintroducing the Foundation Mates (most of whom were there), singing, laughing and drinking beer (not the students!) at the Junction Hotel, most of the Mates then headed up the track to the Daly Waters Historic Pub.

An absolute highlight for some Mates on the way from Newcastle Waters to Daly Waters, was being caught right in the middle of a real Muster with motorbikes, quads, horses and a helicopter! Such an incredible and humbling experience for those who witnessed it.

The debrief at Daly Waters, as always, included more singing, laughing and beer!

Thanks to all the Mates that travelled and show continued support to the restoration of Newcastle Waters, and we hope to see you all again next year.

Check out more of the photos from the 2023 Mates of the Murranji Muster here – and big thanks to Mate’s Helen Egan and Andrea Sullivan for supplying them!