Peggy Naylon

About Peggy Naylon

Peggy currently paints at Walkatjara Arts, whilst living in community with family.

I was born in Charleville, QLD, and had a unique start to life as a surviving twin. My family’s roots ran deep in the remote Australian outback, where we moved from one station to another along the Birdsville Track. It was a childhood filled with rugged landscapes and the stories of our station life that nurtured my early years. However, when I was just five years old, my family relocated to Maree in South Australia, where I started to hear stories about our life on the Birdsville station.

One particular story that left a lasting mark on me was the one about the dawning of the 20th century. It was a significant moment when the station manager sat down with my father to decide on our family’s language of communication. In this crossroads, my father chose to embrace English, which meant we didn’t speak my parents’ native Wangkangurru and Pitjantjara languages. This choice, though made for practical reasons, left me with a sense of longing to know more about my cultural roots.

As I grew older, I embarked on a diverse journey through life. At the age of 16, I ventured back to my mother’s country in an attempt to slowly learn her language, a process that turned out to be quite challenging. I took on various jobs and had the opportunity to train family members to work in their own communities, an experience that, while rewarding, came with its share of sorrow as some of these beloved family members have since passed away.

During my life’s journey, I spent 23 years in Western Australia, immersing myself in cultural learning and community development. I observed the efforts of the Kimberley Mob, who were diligently working to preserve their language and culture, though they were somewhat behind in this regard. I later turned my attention to education, becoming a Teacher’s Aide in the Northern Territory. This role allowed me to mentor and teach students while also offering art classes, aiming to foster a deeper appreciation for our rich cultural heritage.

In 2018, I made the decision to move back to the Northern Territory. I found myself in the Mutitjulu Community, where I stayed with my niece Kimberley and my son-in-law, David. For a time, I worked at Ayers Rock Resort in Reception, where I had the opportunity to interact with people from around the world, sharing stories and experiences from our corner of the globe.

However, life took me to Port Augusta, where I faced challenges in finding employment. This eventually led me back to Mutitjulu, where I currently work on a casual basis for Centrelink, providing translation support and assisting the community with their welfare needs. My heart has always been with the youth, especially young girls, and my passion lies in working with and supporting them.

In September 2022, I took a significant step by attending the NPY Women’s Council AGM and expressing my willingness to join the Board of Directors. I was humbled and delighted to be elected, a responsibility I take with great pride. I see this role as an opportunity to represent my community and to continue my efforts in supporting young people. I am particularly excited about the chance to work alongside the NPY Women’s Council, a group dedicated to advancing the interests of women and families across the Tri-State region.

My life’s journey has been a tapestry of cultural experiences, community involvement, and a deep commitment to nurturing the next generation. It is a journey that has greatly influenced my artistic expression and my desire to make a positive impact on the world around me.