Based in Alice Springs, Margaret has worked at the Irrkelantye
Learning Centre for many years. She is an important Eastern
Arrente Elder, and a talented artist and educator.
Margaret has devoted many years to the learning centre
to ensure that young people have an opportunity to be
"I was born out in the bush around the
Harts Range area. We lived traditional way in the station area,
my parents worked on the stations looking after goats and watering
the garden. Then we went to Arltunga and my parents left me
there at the mission because there wasn't much food around.
The mission people were looking after kids and sending them
to school there. I was around 12 years old and I stayed there
for 2 or 3 years. Then my parents took me back to Mt Riddock
Station, I worked as a nanny then. In 1955 I went to Santa Teresa,
back to the dormitory. I lived there and got married and had
all my families."
"Now I live in Alice Springs, interpreting
that's my job today, for government, police, hospital and land
council. I was awarded an OAM for community service. I used
to see a lot of painting done with my fathers and brothers,
that's where I learnt. Paintings I can do is about hunting and
teaching young girls about firestick and ochres. The painting
I learnt I kept it in my head and I sketch those designs for
my children to paint."
I grew up at Santa Teresa and went to school there.
We shifted back to Alice Springs and I went to college until Year
10. Then I went up to Darwin with my family and lived at Maningrida
with my sisters. In 1989 I came back to Alice Springs and lived in
town and on our outstation. I used to see my aunties doing paintings
and I used to help them a little bit. I started doing my own paintings
in 1998. I painted for Mbantua Store. I used to get their canvas and
sell the paintings back to them. Then I came to Irrkerlantye Arts.
|Amelia was born and grew up at Santa Teresa. She went to school there and then in Melbourne at a technical college. At the college she was the only Aboriginal student. She moved to Darwin and worked at a shop in Maningrida for about 10 years. Amelia was taught stories and how to paint from her grandmother. She also learnt from her grandfather. Now she tells the stories she learnt through her paintings.
I was born in Alice Springs and when I was one or
two years old we moved around a lot to places where my parents were
working. When I was almost three years old my family and I moved to
Mt Isa in Queensland. When I was fifteen we came back to Alice and
moved out to Santa Teresa and that's where I showed my true side of
being an artist. I started painting banners for the church at Santa
Teresa for special feast days. In Keringke Art Centre was started.
We did screenprinting, silk painting and linoprinting on T-shirts.
That's when I first started painting. I remember when I first saw
a dot painting I couldn't understand the meaning of the design but
just saw a pretty painting. I started to learn what its meanings were
when my cousin sister started telling us the stories as she was doing
the paintings. This is how we find our true selves and who we are.
Now I am really glad I've learnt to look and listen.
I was born in Queensland at Mt Isa while my family were living over
there. We came back to Alice Springs when I was twelve years old to
my fathers family. We moved to Santa Teresa and I did some work at
the art centre there, I learnt to do pottery. I started painting three
years ago, helping my mum with some of her paintings, then I started
doing my own. I also like painting beads and clap sticks. I live at
Amoonguna near Alice Springs and I am happy living with my family
and my daughter.
My father passed away a long time ago and I followed my grandmother
to Todd River Downs. I stayed there with them, then I went back again
to Little Well on camels. I used to work cleaning, working in the
kitchen and milking nanny goats. My mum came and picked me up after
two years and we went to Arltunga. Long time after I came to my real
mother and I stayed in Santa Teresa with her. I went to Loves Creek
and met my husband there and started a family. I got seven kids in
all. We lived on Allambi Station, at Santa Teresa, in Alice Springs
and in Mt Isa where we stayed for 12 years. I came back to Santa Teresa,
then came back to Alice Springs for good. Now I live at Amoonguna
outside Alice Springs, I been there four years. I travel everywhere!
I started painting when we came back to Alice Springs, get some canvas
and do a bit of painting to sell. I started painting properly when
I joined Irrkerlantye Arts in 2000. I paint all the time now.
Before I went to school I lived with my parents at Undoolya station,
that's where I grew up. My Dad did stock work there. My sister took
me to Santa Teresa when I was around ten years old to start school.
I left school after Year 11 and worked as a health worker and in the
Literacy Unit. Then I went to work at the Keringke art centre where
I worked for 6 years and became an assistant art coordinator. We had
our first exhibition "Mpwellare" in 1990 at Araluen, Alice
Springs. My painting was also exhibited at the Northern Territory
Art Award in Darwin. I was chosen to go to Sydney for the Australian
Bicentennial Craft Show in 1988 and then again in 1989. In 1991 we
went to New Zealand to exhibit in Wellington and Auckland. My paintings
sold interstate and in America. I moved to Alice Springs in 1995.
I was taught how to do paintings by Sister Edith, one of the Sacred
Heart Nuns, and from my cousins Gabrielle Wallace, Kathleen Wallace
and my auntie Therese Ryder. I do some work for the Aboriginal Art
and Culture Centre and for Mbantua Art Gallery Now I work at Irrkerlantye
Queenie and Heather Kenny
We were born near the Queensland border at Menace Creek and used
to go everywhere place to place when we were kids, we used to follow
our parents. Sometimes my father worked in the mines going down deep
looking for copper. They go down with windlass and lamp. Sometimes
we go for holiday, sit down with other people. We used to get mica,
looks like paper and glass. We used to help our parents find the mica.
My sister Ruby and I we grow up in bush all the time. We come back
Harts Range way and I had a job there at the police station, cleaning
houses, kitchen, that sort of thing. Welfare brought me to Alice Springs.
I married and had my family here. Then we moved to Ernabella and I
worked at the School cooking lunches for the school kids. In 2001
I moved back to Alice Springs to Amoonguna Community to be with my
sister Ruby. I started painting that year at Irrkerlantye Arts. I
watch my sister Ruby painting and I want to try too.
Therese was born in 1946 at Todd River Station east of Alice Springs.
Her parents worked on stations mustering cattle and cooking. As a
young child she travelled around from place to place with her family.
"We moved around to where other members of family were staying."
When she was six or seven she was taken to Santa Theresa Mission.
She lived in the dormitories with the other Arrernte children and
went to school. This is where she was also taught to paint water colours.
In 1978 she moved to Alice Springs. Theresa has worked with the Institute
of Aboriginal Development in the Language Department where she was
one of the main contributors on the Central and Eastern Arrernte Dictionary.
She has also worked at the Catholic High School in the Aboriginal
Unit teaching the Arrernte language."My paintings are east of
Alice Springs. Around Ross River is my father's country. Aboriginal
people must paint their country and their stories. This is my contribution
to these places and my family the Arrernte people."