Western Desert Nganampa Walytja Palyantjaku Tjutaku Aboriginal Corporation (Purple House) is an Aboriginal Community Controlled organisation. We pride ourselves on our strong Indigenous leadership. We have a Board of Indigenous directors who represent communities across the Western Desert. Our directors meet four times each year in Alice Springs, with some directors travelling over 1000 kilometres to attend meetings.
These meetings provide our directors with the opportunity to:
- Oversee and make decisions about the running of the organisation
- Hear reports from staff about the organisations services and programs
- Examine financial reports
- Learn about renal disease and what can be done to reduce its impact in their communities
Patients and their families are also welcome at directors’ meetings so that they can share the issues that are affecting them.
Our all Indigenous board of directors is elected by the members of our corporation. They are Pintupi Luritja people from the communities of the Western Desert, and include dialysis patients and their family members. Our directors meet four times a year with an Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in November each year. In addition to the AGM, patients and members are also able to attend directors meetings to listen and contribute.
Linda was a teacher in Papunya for over 20 years and has also held the position of vice-president of the Papunya community council. Linda currently sits on the Papunya Community’s Local Board and is a member of their Elders Group. Her father was senior Pintupi elder and leader Nosepeg Tjupurrula Tjungkata.
Marlene has been a Director of WDNWPT for over 10 years. Until she retired she was an Aboriginal Health Worker at the Pintupi Homelands Health Service. She has served on a number of community boards and committees over the years as well as caring for her children and grandchildren. Marlene lives in Kintore, NT.
Bobby West Tjupurrula
Bobby is a senior Pintupi man and community leader from Kiwirrkurra community. Bobby is a Papunya Tula artist and shareholder and was involved in the original collaborative Kiwirrkurra Men’s painting which was auctioned for $340,000 for the Western Desert Dialysis Appeal. In 2011 Bobby won the General Painting Prize in the Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award. Bobby commenced dialysis treatment in 2014.
Preston Thomas known as “Mr T” is a former Deputy Chairperson of the Aboriginal Land Trust. He is the currently the Deputy Chair of the Ngaanyatjarra Group. Mr T is also Chairperson of Kanpa Community Council.
He is an active member of the Aboriginal Legal Service of WA and has been a Director of the Aboriginal Health Council of WA since 2015. He is committed to the increasing development of Aboriginal Western Australians.
Pamela Tolson is the daughter of renowned Papunya Tula artist the late Turkey Tolson. She has lots of family on dialysis and wants to be able to talk a strong story about what people want.
Audrey lives in Mt Liebig, NT, where she has traditional ties. Audrey has been a past Community Councillor and Chairperson. Currently she sits on the Local Board and works in the community office. She has been a director of Purple House for many years and is a strong advocate for remote dialysis.
I was born in Alice – my family and I are from Papunya. I work in admin in Papunya arts. (Tjupi Art centre) where I met my husband Patrick Poulson who is a renal patient with Purple house. We have 5 children and 2 grandchildren.
I love my culture and my Country and people. I love learning new things – we learn more things as we get older. As a Director I want to support Purple House, because I want to help my people who need help and support in their Country and to get back home.
I was born in Alice – my family and I are from Papunya, I worked in admin in Papunya arts. (Tjupi Art Centre) where I met my wife Isobel Major more than 10 years ago – we have 5 children and 2 grandchildren.
I love my culture and my Country and people. I am a renal patient and I love learning new things, especially as we get older. As a Director I want to support Purple House, because I want to help my people back to country.
Isobel Gorey Nambajimba
I was born in Alice Springs, but I’ve lived in Papunya for a very long time. I am a senior Pintupi/Luritja woman who serves on the DesArt Board and previously served on the Waltja Board for some 30 plus years.
I am a Pintupi/Luritja woman and have knowledge of dialysis as my husband is on dialysis. In my past years I have been a Papunya Tula painter.
Pilita Naparula Wakuri
I have worked in a school, office environment and clinic in Kintore. I was born in Papunya and have worked at the Kintore store. I have two children both 25 and 13 years of age. I met my husband Ringo in Nyirripi – he is a Policeman. In my past I have served on the Store & Ranger Committee.
I have lots of family on dialysis in Kalgoorlie and Kintore. I’ve done lots of work looking after old people in Kintore. I am now working in CDP and I have three beautiful grandchildren.
CEO Sarah Brown AM
Sarah Brown AM is the Chief Executive Officer of Purple House, working with its board of Indigenous directors to run the organisation since its inception two decades ago.
Sarah was recognised with an Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday 2020 Honours List “for significant service to community health, to remote area nursing, and to the Indigenous community”. In 2017 she was Hesta Australia’s Nurse of the Year and in 2018 made the AFR BOSS magazine’s ‘True Leaders’ list.
A fearless advocate for high quality, community-led healthcare for Indigenous Australians, Sarah has invested three decades of her life in this work across Australia. She holds a Master of Nursing, a Graduate Diploma in Aboriginal Education and a Graduate Diploma in Health Service Management. Prior to joining Purple House, Sarah worked as a remote area nurse in communities as diverse as Cape Barren Island (TAS), Balgo (WA), Yuelamu and Harts Range (NT). She has also been an Aboriginal health service manager in the Kimberley and a university lecturer.
Sarah paints, has exhibitions across Australia and overseas, has 3 grown up kids and drives a 1959 Morris Minor. She thinks ‘work/life balance’ is irrelevant if you love what you do!
Deputy CEO Peter Riley
Originally as a Jawun secondee from Westpac, Peter came to Central Australia to work on the initial design report for the national Aboriginal-led Empowered Communities initiative. Working closely with local Aboriginal leader, Andrea Mason, CEO of Ngaanyatjarra, Pitjantjatjara, Yankunytjatjara (NPY) Women’s Council, Peter returned after his 3 month secondment to become the first Executive Manager of the Empowered Communities Secretariat for the NPY region.
In the Empowered Communities role Peter and his team, on behalf of the NPYEC partners (NPY Women’s Council, Purple House, RASAC, Mai Wiru and Ngaanyatjarra Council) team worked closely with Anangu and Yarnangu communities across the NPY regions. Together they designed and supported a regional agenda that focussed on leadership, education, employment and a stronger voice for Anangu and Yarnangu in the funding of services in their region.
After 7 years with Empowered Communities, Peter took the role of Executive Director for the Central Australia Academic Health Science Network (CAAHSN), a research partnership between Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations including Congress, Anyinginyi Health, NPYWC, Ng Health and Purple House, with universities, national research organisations and the NT Department of Health.
In late 2023 Peter accepted the in augural role of Deputy CEO for Purple House, having worked with and admired the work of the organisation for many years in his other roles. Peter is passionate about the empowerment of Aboriginal People and believes that the voice, the ideas and the drive of outcomes for Aboriginal people by Aboriginal people and organisations is the way to a better future.
Central Australian Renal Voice
Established in November 2013, the Central Australia Renal Voice (CARV) provides patients with a forum to advocate for change in the provision of dialysis treatment, accommodation and social support to drive better health outcomes.
CARV provides a structured linkage between patients and service providers, facilitating meaningful discussions for the provision of advice, direction, and advocacy for planning, delivery, design, measurement and evaluation of renal health care in Central Australia.
The purpose of CARV is to empower renal patients to advocate for change so that their concerns and objectives are valued and to work with health, accommodation and social support providers to improve service and health outcomes for dialysis patients.
CARV will help improve health outcomes for patients and their families through:
- Working together to address cultural safety issues to ensure that the provision of services is respectful, appropriate and free of discrimination,
- Patients voicing their concerns about dialysis treatment and living in Alice Springs, and
- Service providers understanding the problems these patients face while receiving dialysis treatment and living in Alice Springs.
Purple House currently support CARV by assisting with coordination and secretariat for meetings. CARV representatives meet on a quarterly basis.