This was an important ceremonial center for the great rituals of the natives of this area. The Methodist Overseas Emission founded a village on the Iceland in 1923. It lured Aborigines from the East African Clans to the Isle. Among them were Gupapuy?u and Djambarrpuy?u, as well as Wangurri and Warramirri-speakers.
Yan-Hangu talking Yolngu are the main owner of Milingimbi and the area. During the Second World War the Japanese bombarded the country and most of the inhabitants migrated to the near Elcho Isl. In the aftermath of the Great Depression, the Royal Australian Air Force still used the area as its military headquarters before the return of the Australian missions in 1951.
It administered the mission until 1974, when the management was delegated to Milingimbi Community Incorporated. Milingimbi became part of the East Arnhem Council in 2008 and the county took over the area. For most Aborigines in Milingimbi, English is a second, third or forth one. One of Milingimbi CEC's bi-lingual programmes, which began in 1974, was discontinued.
At some of the nearby outposts, bi-lingual instruction by landowners continues to foster the language, culture and biodiversity of the Crocodile Islands. For this purpose, the Yan-hangu landowners have launched the Crocodile Islands Rangers voluntary initiative to encourage sustained activity for the community in the language of the country.
It has its own airstrip, Milingimbi International with the callsign YMGB. The Milingimbi is the location of a Bureau of Meteorology meteorological base. It also has its own Arnhem Land Progress Aboriginal Corporation (ALPA) shop, as well as a postal service and arts centre. The artist David Malangi visited the academy in Milingimbi in his early years.
Djalu Gurruwiwiwiwi, the well-known didjeridoo manufacturer and gamer was according to a report native of Milingimbi. Laurie Baymarrwangga, Australian of the Year 2012, is the Milingimbi Island Snr-Gen. In 2011 she received the Northern Territory Innovation and Research Award for her work, among them the creation of a Yan-nha?u Dictionary (1994-2012) and her work with the Crocodile Islands Rangers.
Baymarrwangga was taken in 1935 by Donald Thomson in Milingimbi and Murrungga. Photograph and Yolgnu in the eastern Arhem Land, 1917". Aborigine Studies Press. pp. 254-272. "Remembrance of the bombardment of Milingimbi". Tide and time: on the Crocodile Islands: National University of Australia. Mana to Marr on the Crocodile Islands" (PDF).
National University of Australia, pp. 235-261. "Milingimbi." Regional Council East Arnhem Country. Australian National Gallery. Australian tribes: National University of Australia.