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Raukkan
South Australia
Raukkan Church.jpg
Raukkan Church, 2015
Population 99 (2011 census)
Location
LGA(s) The Coorong District Council
State electorate(s) MacKillop
Federal Division(s) Barker

Raukkan is a small Australian Aboriginal community situated on the south-eastern shore of Lake Alexandrina in the locality of Narrung, eighty kilometres southeast of the centre of South Australia's capital, Adelaide. Raukkan is "regarded as the home and heartland of Ngarrindjeri country."

History

Raukkan, which means "meeting place" in the Ngarrindjeri language, was for thousands of years an important meeting place for Ngarrindjeri "lakalinyeri" (clans) and the location of the Grand Tendi, the parliament of the Ngarrindjeri people. The Grand Tendi was composed of men elected from each of the eighteen lakalinyeri who then elected from its members the Rupulle or leader.

English explorer Charles Sturt first encountered the Ngarrindjeri at Raukkan, who fed the starving Sturt and his party.

In 1860 the Aborigines' Friends' Association was granted 107 hectares in the area and established a mission at Raukkan, which had been named "Point McLeay" by T. B. Strangways in 1837. George Taplin had selected the site, and with others such as the Rev. F. W. Cox helped build the school, church and mission station to care for the local Aboriginals, and spent the next twenty years in that service. It was intended by the Aborigines' Friends' Association to help the Ngarrindjeri people, but could never be self-sufficient farming due to the poor quality of the soil in the area. Land clearing by farmers nearby also limited the ability for hunting, and other crafts and industries also met with difficulties due to changing environment and competition from nearby towns. In 1916, responsibility for Raukkan moved to South Australia's Chief Protector of Aborigines, and since 1974 it has been administered by the Ngarrindjeri people themselves and renamed Raukkan in 1982.

Raukkan Aboriginal School is in the town. In the 2011 Australian Census the population was 99, of whom 95 were Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

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