Today I am thinking about why Ara Irititja is important.It is important for all the people, throughout the West, East, North and South to see their own history – for children, teenagers, young and old people, men and women to see and hear about their past.Missionaries, explorers and others recorded and photographed the lives of the people and took these records away. Ara Irititja makes it possible to bring the history back home where it belongs.
To have Ara Irititja in our communities helps keep the past in the present and helps keep our culture strong. It is important for the future generations to link them through Ara Irititja to the past generations. Today we live in the computer technology time. The computer has a huge brain and is very clever. It can hide things if necessary, and then bring them back later.

The Ara Irititja computer is clever like a Dingo.

Wilton Foster
Pitjantjatjara Council
21 March 2005


I support Ara Irititja. It is good for keeping Anangu stories safe and protected, and I think it is very, very good. If I had the money I would like to give thousands of dollars to help Ara Irititja keep going, and keep getting Anangu stories. They are doing a very good job. Our Anangu from APY Land never used to want to look at their photos of family members who had passed away. But when Ara Irititja started up, Anangu want to look at photos of their tjamu, mama, ngunytju and kuntili. It is a good thing. They are looking forward to getting photos from Ara Irititja. And Ara Irititja helps the people out really well, really good. That’s why I like to support Ara Irititja, and the people that are working on it. They are gathering materials, and they are very good with the people, and putting the stories away and locking them away safely. Adelaide is not that far, only a phone call away. We can get Ara Irititja wapar and have a listen, and have a look at photos and videos. They keep all of that and look after it. And not only that, but Aboriginal cultural business too, through the anthropologists, from their work with the Land Rights. I think Ara Irititja has got a lot of that already, and that is a good thing. They are keeping it safe on behalf of all Anangu. Palya.

(Yami Lester, 28 February 2014)


My name is Inawinytji Williamson. I used to be the Chairperson of Kaltjiti Arts Centre and also of AnanguKu for a long time. I really like Ara Irititja and I think it is very important for all artists to have their work on Ara Irititja. When we can see our paintings in Ara Irititja we will be able to talk about them so that our children and grandchildren can hear what we have to say. This makes us feel good. We have important things to say to our families about our paintings. The paintings tell our stories and pass on our knowledge. I have been an artist since I was a little girl and it is good for our children to learn. When I see my things on Ara Irititja it makes me feel important and happy. Palya.

(Inawinytji Williamson, November 2014)


Uwa, ngayulu ini Judy Brumbynya ka ngayulu warkaringkupai Ara Irititjangka. Mununa kulini Ara Irititja palya nyaranyi, tjitji tjutaku, panya malatjangku malatjangku nyakunytjaku irititja tjara. Yaaltji yaaltji tjanampa kami tjamu nyinanyi? Munu yaaltji yaaltji tjana ankupai panya tjina tjara ankupai kamulangka donkeyngka nyanytjungka kulu mutuka wiyangka? Ka kuwari nganana mutukangka ananyi, Bush Bus-ngka. Ka Ara Irititja palya ngaranyi tjitji tjutaku Ananguku, ka yaaltji yaaltji ngayuku kamiku alatji ngaranyi.

Hello, my name is Judy Brumby, and I work on the Ara Irititja archive. I know that Ara Irititja is really good for all the children today, and will be for all children yet to be born, to look at and learn about their cultural heritage. How did their grandmother’s and grandfather’s generation live? How did they live as nomadic people, walking around their country, with only camels, donkeys and horses, back in the days without cars? Today is so different, as we all travel around in cars, or on the Bush Bus. Ara Irititja shows the children how Anangu used to live, and how my own grandmother used to live.

(Judy Brumby interviewed by Shannyn Palmer at Utju September 2013)


‘I like Ara Irititja. It makes me feel good when I see old people. I like learning on the Ara Irititja computer. It is good to use the things like printing, putting names and looking at photos of my own family and friends. It is very great. I think the white people and Anangu people think it is good to have an Ara Irititja on our lands and in cities because they want to learn more about Anangu, how they lived a long time ago and hunted.’

Jacinta Marks, Pukatja School, 17 years


Uwa, ngayunya ini Daphne Puntjinanya. Ngayulu wangkanyi Ara Irititjaku. Ka nganana kanyinytjaku mukuringanyi. Kawalinkunytja wiyangku nganana. Palya nganana kulini Ara Irititja nyangatja nganampa, panya nyaapa picture irititja tjuta nganampa ngaranyi. Kanyilkitjangku mukuringanyi panya tjitji kulunypa tjuta piruku pakani kutjupa kutjupa uwankara, winki. Nyara palula tjana tjinguru ngurpa nyinanytjaku tawara nganana Ara Irititjangka tjananya nintini, tjana nintiringkunytjaku. Nyakula kulira tjukurpa uwankara nganampa. Uwa, nganana rawangku kanyinytjikitja mukuringanyi nyaapa Ara Irititjangka nyakunytjaku malatja tjutangku munu tjitji kulunypa tjutangku nyakula nintiringkunytjaku.

Hello, my name is Daphne Puntjina. I am speaking on behalf of Ara Irititja. Ara Irititja is our own archive, with thousands of old photographs. We want to keep them. We do not want to lose them. We want to keep our records for all the little children who are growing up, surrounded by so many outside influences these days. To lose Ara Irititja, as a teaching and learning tool, places them at risk of becoming ignorant of their own cultural heritage. They need to be able to look and learn about all aspects of their tjukurpa. We want to keep Ara Irititja archive going for the benefit of future generations, and for all the little children to explore the archive, and learn from it.

(Daphne Puntjina Burton interviewed by Shannyn Palmer at Utju, September 2013)


Ara Irititja is the main one for Anangu. While our young people are falling by the wayside, at least we have Ara Irititja there as a guide to the past. We refer to it and show the young people the way things should be done. There are so many good things on Ara Irititja. It is a great record of ourselves, and our lives. There are pictures of me on Ara Irititja from a newborn baby up until the present day. I was born in the Black Hill area, in Wati Kunma Tjukurpa country, at around the same time as the Ernabella Church was being built, in 1952. My history is all there on Ara Irititja. Janet Inyika

(Janet Inyika, Alice Springs 11 November 2013.


Nganana Docker Riveranya ngurara. Nganana nyakula pukularipai, Ara Irititjangka. Pukulpa pulka. Tjitji iti nintiringkupai, tjamu kami, walytjapitiku nyakula.

We are Docker River people. We really like to look at our family photographs on Ara Irititja. When we look at pictures of our family it makes us really happy. We like to show this baby here, pictures of his grandfather and grandmother, teaching him who his extended family is, by showing him the photos.

(Marcia Reid and her extended family, (one man, one girl, three women and one baby), Docker River, 4 November 2013)


I like using Ara Irititja to see all the places in the old times and today. I like looking at the changes over the years like the change from wiltja (shelters) to houses. I like looking at all the old people who have passed away. Their pictures are still there for us to see. On Ara Iriitja, the old people are telling us stories—showing some Tjukurpa, kuka, rockholes, inma, bushfood, and places in the olden days. Now the old people have sufferings and sicknesses such as diabetes.

Everyone wants to come to see the old people on Ara Irititja. We feel happy to see our families and to remember them. The old people are telling stories for all their grandchildren from the pictures that they are looking at. They tell us and we understand about how Anangu people lived a long time ago. It’s really good.  When people have passed away, some kids grow up and don’t know their history. They want to learn how they lived a long time ago. They can come to see the Ara Irititja photos and learn.

(Dianne Brown, AnTEP Pukatja, 2nd/3rd year, 30 July 2003)


I like Ara Irititja. It makes me feel good when I see old people. I like learning on the Ara Irititja computer. It is good to use the things like printing, putting names and looking at photos of my own family and friends. It is very great.

I think the white people and Anangu people think it is good to have an Ara Irititja on our lands and in cities because they want to learn more about Anangu people how they lived a long time ago and hunted.

(Jacinta Marks, Pukatja Anangu School, 17 years, 30 July 2003)


I like looking at the olden times about things that I don’t know about. I like having the memory of my grandmother through seeing her in the photos, hearing the stories she tells and being able to look at her. I see the photos of me when I was a school girl at Wiltja. Sometimes it’s okay for family to have a look at their families who’ve passed away.

(Narelda Adamson, AnTEP Pukatja, 30 July 2003)


I like looking at the olden times, learning from this, seeing different places and looking at children and people I haven’t know. It’s really great. I’ve seen it (Ara Irititja) at Umuwa, too. Now it’s in lots of places. I’ve seen it for ages now and I’ve learnt a lot about lots of places and seen how my family lived in the old days. My old mother: I’ve seen her naked, poor thing. I heard my dad singing, who’s passed away, in the Ernabella Choir. I went with them to Sydney when I was a little girl with some of the other kids. Sometimes we go bush and take little kids for doing inma and learning from our grandmothers. We go down the Kenmore road to the bush and get mai from the bush.

(Lisa Tjitayi, AnTEP Pukatja, 30 July 2003)


Ngayulu wangkanytja wiya maru tjuta kutju, palu piranpa tjuta kulu-kulu. Piranpa tjutangku iriti culture wiru kanyininggi kunpu. Tjitji tjuta mamangku ngunytjungku kanyiningi munu nintiningi. Kuwari nganana nyanganyi tjukurpa irititja. Maru tjutaku tjukurpa, maru city tjutaku tjukurpa, piranpa tjutaku tjukurpa.Munula nyanganyi, wangkanyi tjungungku palyantjikitjangku. Munula nganganyi maruku walytja tjuta munu piranpa tjutaku walytja tjuta. Ka tjinguru tjana ara maru tjutaku kulira munu nyakula palyalku. Ka culture tjanampa munu nganampa kunpuringkuku. Palya.

I’m not only talking about Anangu, but whitefellas as well. Whitefellas keep their history strong. The parents teach their children about it. Today we are looking at old stories. Anangu stories, as well as city dwellers’ and whitefellas’ stories. We are looking and speaking together about how to look after these stories. Perhaps people will think about Anangu history and learn how to look after it. And their culture and our culture will both become strong. OK?

(Alec Minutjukur, Pukatja, August 1988)


Nganampa maruku irititja tjuta nganana kanyini titutjarajngku, wantiriyantja wiyangku, wantikatinytja wiyangku. Nganana kanyini alatjitu titutjarangku, tjana ngapartji nintiringkunytjaku malatja tjuta, anangu nganampa tjitji tjuta.

We always keep our Anangu old stories (heritage). We won’t let it go, we won’t lose it. We keep it forever so that future generations can learn from it – our children.

(Nganyinytja, Amata, 1988)