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Helicopter Ride with Brooksy to See My Father's Ngurra (Country)

Warakurna: All the stories got into our minds and eyes

Helicopter Ride with Brooksy to See My Father's Ngurra (Country)

WARNING: Visitors should be aware that this website includes images and names of deceased people that may cause sadness or distress to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

We went in the native title helicopter. I cried when I saw that country. I paint this country because I love it. Ngayuku ngurra, ngayuku father-ku ngurra, ngayuku tjamu-ku ngurra [my country, my father's country and my grandfather's country]. I’ll pass it onto my son.

I'll follow in my father's footsteps with that story and his country. It's strong in my heart. I'll give that story to my son.

Ken Shepherd

An acrylic painting on canvas showing two people flying in a helicopter, against a red background.
Helicopter Ride with Brooksy to See My Father's Ngurra (Country), 2011, Ken Shepherd, acrylic on canvas, 1020 x 1013 x 33 mm. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program by Wayne and Vicki McGeoch.

One day in Warakurna, Shepherd showed anthropologist David Brooks (‘Brooksy’) a painting of Wapintja, in his father’s country. He dreamed of going there. Soon after, accompanied by Brooks, Shepherd was able to visit Wapintja for the first time.

Ken Shepherd portrait.
Photo: Edwina Circuitt.


Ken Shepherd
Born 1965
Karimarra skin group

Ken Shepherd was born in the Western Australian goldfields, where his family had moved seeking work, but his father was born at Wapintja, a pinnacle in the middle of a vast area of sand dune country to the north of the Rawlinson Range.

Shepherd settled at Warakurna when his family returned to their country in 1974.

View other works by Ken Shepherd

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