Artists are at the core of everything we do

Margaret Smith

Imanpa NT

“Tjanpi is a way to put food on the table. Get money. Do good work and get good pay. Different to wages job as you can do it when you like and get money then.  It is something you like doing. It makes community happy, especially women. No jealousy. Everyone is happy and proud. Happy and proud of each other.”

Margaret has only been weaving since 2014 but is already a highly skilled weaver creating both baskets and sculptures. Her work is exceptionally well made with strong design elements and is highly sought after.

Margaret is a Yankunytjatjara woman who was born on Erldunda Station and had had a varied and hard-working life. Margaret lived on Erldunda Station throughout her childhood, until 1961 when her family was transferred to Amoonguna Reserve (outside Alice Springs).

In 1962 the family was transferred to Areyonga by the welfare authorities. They stayed there for a while and then went walking in the bush with horses, camels and donkeys. They walked back to Erldunda, hunting meat and gathering bush tucker.

Margaret married in Finke and had three children there. She worked as the Store Manager, and then as the Coordinator of the Women's Workforce. She became a member of the Community Council, and later the Chairperson. She studied interpreting in Alice Springs and became one of the very first Anangu accredited interpreters.

A highly regarded spokesperson for the NPY region, she is a former Liaison Officer of Imanpa Arts and Crafts and has been a member of a number of boards and committees including the Board of Management of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park and the Cross-border Reference Group on Volatile Substance Misuse.

In 2000 she was one of 330 Aboriginal women who performed in the Sydney 2000 Olympics Opening Ceremony. As an elected Director of NPY Women's Council, Margaret prides herself on working effectively with Anangu and non-Anangu together.

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