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Land Rights News Central Australia: Land Rights News (October 2011)

Published: November, 2011

Above: Shelley Morris sings Advance Australia with Kintore School.

Proud to be Pintupi

Thirty years after it was set up, several hundred people gathered at Kintore near the Western Australian border this month to remember the events and many personalities, Aboriginal and non Aboriginal, who helped shape the destiny of the Pintupi people and the community of Kintore.

Community leaders Lindsay Corby, Monica Robinson, Joey Young and Irene Nangala welcomed guests including former patrol officer Jeremy Long and famous New York anthropologist Fred Myers who wrote the seminal work, Pintupi Country, Pintupi Self.

Mr Corby said the community wanted to honour the past.

“We are proud for our country,” he said, “and we think about those people who have gone away.”

“This is a really settled down country, they call it Kintore,” Mr Corby told the crowd.

The memory of a former Kintore man and founder of the Western Desert Dialysis Appeal Smithy Zimran was honoured with a ngintaka sculpture commissioned by the Walungurru Council from Alice Springs sculptor Dan Murphy.

“He was a strong leader and a role model for everybody” said Monica Robinson.

“We honour him with our thoughts. Thank God for him, for all he did for the Pintupi people and this settle down country. He reached out strong, he talked up strong for the CLC and the Pintupi. He helped people return to their own country. We will always remember him."

The ngintaka will be placed in the roundabout in the middle of the community.

When the Pintupi left Papunya to escape the conflict and unhappiness which characterised that settlement to return to their homelands around the Western Australian border few would have any idea of the profound significance this community would come to have, especially as the home of some of Australia’s most famous Aboriginal painters.

Kintore began as a collection of camps and slowly grew in an era characterised by its hopes and aspirations for self determination before the political tide turned against it.

The Pintupi were the last Aboriginal people to make contact with Western society, some as recently as 1984 when nine Pintupi left the Great Sandy Desert to be reunited with their family in Kiwirrkurra.