Pukarlyi Milly Kelly

Milly's Martu name is Pukarlyi and she was born at Jilakurru, also known as Durba Springs, on the Canning Stock Route. Her mother was a Warnman woman from Karlamilyi and her father was Kartujarra. Milly’s father’s country lies around Jilakurru and Puntawarri and she walked the country between these waterholes as a child. There were two boys and two girls in her family; only Milly and her sister survive now.

When she was little, her mother took her to Old Jigalong because the extended family was there. This was the old camp on the Rabbit Proof Fence, before Jigalong mission was established. Milly says a lot of marta-marta (half blackfella, half whitefella) kids came from that camp. Milly met her husband, Pompey Charlie, at Jigalong and they worked on stations together. At one time, her husband mustered cattle at Marillana Station; the couple also lived at Roy Hill Station, where Milly worked as a domestic and a cook. At Sylvania Station, Milly raised a whole family of whitefella children.

Milly now paints the country from Puntawarri to Jila Kurru. 

Photo of Pukarlyi Milly Kelly

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