Cosmo Newberry

Cosmo Newberry or Yilka is just over 1000km to the east of Perth, between Laverton and Warburton in the Goldfields-Esperance region. The town is one of the stops along the Great Central Road.  The community’s unusual name came from Sir James Cosmo Newberry, who improved the chemical methods of gold extraction in the 1800s. It is usually called simply Cosmo or Yilka (the name of a neighbouring soak).

Cosmo first became a settled community in 1920 when it was leased to two returned soldiers (the family of current residents). It was a penal colony for a short time then became a Government Ration Depot. From 1953 to 1976 the Uniting Church ran a mission on the site.  In 1976 the responsibility for the community was handed over to the Aboriginal people living there. It was renamed Wangkatja Tjiwataarnmartatji, and incorporated in 1976. For the next 11 years the community was self-governed but its population dwindled and it was abandoned.

In December 1989 a small group returned to the community, determined to revive it. Other families followed and in 1994 the community made the decision to become affiliated with Ngaanyatjarra Council.

Cosmo has a community health centre, a school, a community hall, a communication centre, a fuel supply and a community store.