Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Lake Disappointment formally renamed Kumpupintil Lake

  • Lake Disappointment renamed Kumpupintil Lake
  • Renaming is an important acknowledgement of the significance of Kumpupintil Lake

Lake Disappointment, a large lake in the Western Desert lands of the Martu people, has had its original Martu name formally reinstated to Kumpupintil Lake.

Kumpupintil (pronounced Goom-bu-pin-dil) Lake has been formally approved by Landgate as the official name, following a request from the traditional owners and the Western Desert Lands Aboriginal Corporation.

Kumpupintil Lake is about 160 kilometres long and located 300 kilometres east of Newman.

The lake was named Lake Disappointment in 1896 by explorer Frank Hann who, having followed creeks that flowed inland in the hope of finding a freshwater lake, named it after the disappointment he felt.

The term 'Disappointment' is not an appropriate description for the lake and does not reflect Martu ownership and knowledge of their Country. The former name also disparages the ecological richness of this desert landscape.

The lake is important to Martu people for spiritual and ceremonial reasons, as well as being an important place for water and traditional food.

The name 'Kumpupintil' describes how the lake was made and is linked to a Martu creation story where Martu warriors fought mighty giants in an epic battle.

Comments attributed to Lands Minister Ben Wyatt:

"The lake has always been known as Kumpupintil to the Martu people, so it's momentous to be formally recognising the name.

"It's important to acknowledge and promote Martu people's connection to this land, and the proud place it takes in Western Australia's shared history.

"For generations, Kumpupintil has been a sacred place for the Martu people. It is only fitting that the name of this place reflects their relationship with it.

"Martu have a saying - 'Martu: since the beginning' - and this change in name reflects that.

"The McGowan Government strongly supports the recognition of Aboriginal heritage and acknowledges the important role traditional owners play."