Irene Wilpinta Nangala is a Pintupi-Luritja woman. She is a senior law woman and passionate about keeping her law and her culture strong. Irene believes in leading by example, inclusively and with compassion. She is a collaborative decision maker, with the ability to work cross-culturally across different levels of government and communities. Irene is an initiator and innovator in finding solutions to complex issues and needs in communities.
Irene has had a strong involvement in education over her career, including 20 years as a pre-school teacher in the remote community of Kintore, and has been a strong advocate for bilingual education and two-way learning as important ways to support the maintenance and transfer of language and cultural knowledge.
Irene was elected as the first female Chairperson of Walungurru (Kintore) Community Council and helped to found Waltja Tjutangku Palyapayi Aboriginal Corporation (Waltja), an organisation run by senior women leaders from remote communities which ‘does good work with families’ in remote communities in the central desert region. Irene has been elected Chairperson more times than any other Executive Member over the organisation’s 19-year history.
Irene also has had a long involvement with Western Desert Nganampa Walytja Palyantjaku Tjutaku Aboriginal Corporation (Western Desert Dialysis), working hard with them to raise over $1.1M through sale of artworks to establish a the first remote community dialysis service in inland Australia. This service in Walungurru means that people needing dialysis treatment can continue to participate in community life and teach the younger generations. Irene is still on the board of Western Desert Dialysis as it has gone on to establish a base in Alice Springs (Purple House) and develop dialysis services with other remote communities.
This episode involved the following people: Dianna Newham, Kate Lawrence, Sharijn King and Joy Taylor
Music: Dian Booth and Rebecca Matthews
Thanks to Waltja Tjutangku Palyapayi Aboriginal Corporation for photos and video.
We acknowledge the support of the Northern Territory Government, Community Broadcasting Foundation and Women in Adult and Vocational Education.