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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware this website contains images, voices and names of people who have died.

Warakurna artists

Collectively the works in this resource reflect the Warakurna people’s desire to tell their own story in their own way.

Portrait of Ken Shepherd

Ken Shepherd

Born 1965, Karimarra skin group

Ken Shepherd was born in the Western Australian goldfields, where his family had moved seeking work.  His father was born at Wapintja, a pinnacle in the middle of a vast area of sand dune country to the north of the Rawlinson Range.

Shepherd settled at Warakurna when his family returned to their country in 1974.

Portrait of Tracy Yates

Tracy Yates

Born 1978, Karimarra skin group

Tracy Yates was born and grew up in Warakurna.

As a child, she would often go on bush trips with her parents, brothers and sisters.

Yates is one of a group of younger artists keen to be part of the dynamic Warakurna art scene.

Portrait of Jean Inyalanka Burke

Jean Inyalanka Burke


Jean Inyalanka Burke was a multi-talented artist and storyteller, who had a major influence on the dynamic art scene at Warakurna with her acclaimed three-dimensional works in purnu (wood) and tjanpi (woven fibre). Her paintings built upon this background and extended her storytelling prowess.

Burke was born at a waterhole site known as Arnumarapirti, near Irrunytju (Wingellina). As a child she moved to the mission settlement of Ernabella, in South Australia, with her family.

When her mother died, Burke and her father, Mr Eddie, walked westward to Mount Margaret mission and then to Warburton Mission, where she attended school. Warakurna was Burke’s husband’s country.

Portrait of Rocky Porter

Rocky Porter

Born 1973, Purungu skin group

Rocky Porter only recently started painting shortly before the Warakurna exhibition in 2011. He plays Australian Rules football and has been involved in Ngaanyatjarra Media. Porter is a great singer and big fan of Elvis Presley.

He has been a DJ for CAAMA (Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association) Radio and is involved in organising concerts in Warakurna.

Portrait of Eunice Yunurupa Porter

Eunice Yunurupa Porter

Born 1948, Yiparrka skin group

Eunice Yunurupa Porter is a respected leader and artist in the Warakurna community. She was born at Wirrkural on the Jameson road out of Warburton mission, and lived with her family in the bush before attending school at the Mission from about the age of 10.

Warakurna was Porter’s late husband’s country. They moved there together in 1974 after a meeting with the newly established Department of Aboriginal Affairs raised the possibility of people moving back to their homelands.

Portrait of Polly Pawuya Butler-Jackson

Polly Pawuya Butler-Jackson

Born 1957, Panaka skin group

Polly Pawuya Butler-Jackson was born at a soak called Yulpigari, close to Partupirri (Bunglebiddy) rock-hole.

As a child she travelled on foot with her family in country to the northwest of Warakurna. She went to school at Warburton Mission and then to Pink Lake High School in Esperance, on the south coast of Western Australia.

Portrait of Dianne Ungukalpi Golding

Dianne Ungukalpi Golding

Born 1966, Purungu skin group

Dianne Ungukalpi Golding was born at Katartirn, near Warburton, and attended school in Warburton and Kalgoorlie.

As a young woman she moved to Docker River, Northern Territory, then to Warakurna, as part of the homelands movement.

Golding is an accomplished weaver of baskets and sculptures. She paints Karlaya Tjukurrpa (Emu Dreaming), Kungkarrangkalpa (Seven Sisters Dreaming) and Tjukurrpa Patirlpa Wati (Parrot Men Dreaming), and represents figures from these Dreamings in her tjanpi.

Portrait of Judith Yinyika Chambers

Judith Yinyika Chambers

Born 1958, Purungu skin group

Judith Yinyika Chambers was born at Mitjika, a rock-hole near what is now Wanarn community. Her family settled at Warburton Mission while she attended school. Chambers completed her schooling at Pink Lake High School in Esperance, on the south coast of Western Australia.

The family moved to Docker River in the Northern Territory in the late 1960s, to be closer to their homelands.

Her family returned to Warakurna as part of the 1970s movement back to country.

For more information on artworks follow the link provided to view Warakurna works explained. Warakurna artworks | National Museum of Australia (