Bess Nungarrayi Price
Non-Executive Director - Artist
Bess Nungarrayi Price was born at the remote community of Yuendumu in Central Australia. Her first language is Warlpiri, and she speaks four other Indigenous languages. She has a Bachelor of Applied Science in Aboriginal Community Management and Development from Curtin University and has worked in education and training, public administration, media, community development, interpreting, translating and small business management.
Bess Nungarrayi has served on numerous management and advisory committees and boards of directors locally and at Territory and National level. In 1997 she established Jajirdi Consultants in partnership with her husband. With Jajirdi she developed and delivered cultural awareness programs for several private, government and non-government agencies, Aboriginal organisations and mining companies. Her work included several major social research projects. Mrs Price was the inaugural chair of the Indigenous Affairs Advisory Council for the Northern Territory Government. In 2012 Mrs Price was elected to the Northern Territory’s Legislative Assembly representing the electorate of Stuart. In September 2013 Mrs Price joined the cabinet of the Government of the Northern Territory to serve as the Minister for Local Government and Community Services, Parks and Wildlife, Women’s Policy, Men’s Policy and Statehood. She is now back at work with Jajirdi Consultants and is helping to establish the new Yanjarra Aboriginal Corporation, a not-for-profit company devoted to social welfare and community development projects.
Bess Nungarrayi has established herself as an artist interested in a personal, contemporary re-interpretation of traditional Jukurrpa Creation myths from her own country. She presents these sacred epic tales using her iconography in a new way hoping that they will be more readily appreciated by a contemporary public who want to understand what it is all about. Her paintings are intensely personal but also linked directly to the beliefs of the ancestors she loves and honours.