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Trudy Inkamala

Yarrenyty Arltere Artists & Tangentyere Artists

Trudy was born at Hamilton Downs Station North West of Alice Springs in 1940. Her father worked in the garden there, growing vegetables for the youth camp. Her mother did the cooking and washing. She remembers receiving rations and her father asking, “this is my country, why don’t I get a little bit of money”? At Christmas the family would ride camels and donkeys back to Kwale Kwale. When Trudy went to school at Ntaria (Hermannsburg) she met her husband. She lived with her husband at Kwale Kwale and they had four children together.

Trudy’s country runs from Stanley Chasm all the way to old Glen Helen Station. As a child Trudy would go into this beautiful country with her family. Together they would pick bush tucker and her grandmother Old Laddie would teach her all the stories from that place. Old Laddie knew everything about the bush. What plants to eat, what plants for medicine, how to find witchety’s and honeyants, how to cook goanna and echidna. Trudy said Old Laddie showed her how to make a cooloman and a dilly bag from the bush to carry water and food, “She showed me everything”.

Trudy is an important and respected elder in her community. She is a role model and spokeswoman for her people. Her mother, her two sisters and herself along with ‘some other strong people’, set up Yipirinya School to celebrate and nurture the Aboriginal kids of Alice Springs. Now her children and grandchildren work at Yipirinya school as teachers, linguists, advisors and her great grandchildren are students there. Since her husband passed away in 2014 Trudy has traveled every day on the school bus to work side by side with her sister Dulcie Sharpe at the Yarrenyty Arltere Art Centre. Doing art is her new joy she says, a way forward for the kids.