Ruth Nalmakarra

ANKAAA Board Member

Ruth NalmakarraA cultural & ceremonial leader, Ruth has been an ANKAAA Board Member since 2007. She has also been the Assistant Manager and an Executive Committee member at Milingimbi Arts, Arnhem Land since 2005.

In 2006 she served on the board of the Milingimbi Ganttjirrik Festival, a cultural festival held in the community of Milingimbi. In 2005 she also worked as an Administration Assistant at the Art Centre through the CDEP program. From 2001 – 2003 Ruth worked as an Administration Assistant and Researcher at the Elcho Island Knowledge Centre, and from 1988 – 1993 she was Teachers Aid & Tutor at Milingimbi Primary School.

Ruth Nalmakarra is an established artist experienced in the mediums of painting and fibre art. Ruth has participated in numerous exhibitions and her work has been selected for the National Indigenous & Torres Strait Islander Art Awards (NIATSIAA) in the Bark Painting category.

In 2008 Ruth curated an exhibition at Mossenson Galleries, Melbourne, entitled Yunumu: The Garrawurra Artists of Milingimbi. The works Ruth selected related to the Djirrididi body painting designs used in the Ngarra cleansing ceremony. In September 2009 Ruth conducted a cross-cultural training workshop for women from Milingimbi Arts and Kalumburu Arts Project, teaching traditional weaving techniques.

In 2007 Ruth completed a Financial Skills for Arts Organisations course with the Australia Council for the Arts (2 days) and undertook intensive governance training with ORIC in 2008, gaining Certificate II in Indigenous Leadership through the Australian Indigenous Leadership Centre, Canberra in 2009.

In 2013, Ruth played an integral role in ANKAAA’s ‘Harvesting Traditional Knowledge’ workshop which saw Indigenous elders sharing knowledge with conservators from some of Australia’s major art institutions.

These varied experiences have made Ruth an excellent public speaker and a strong ambassador for ANKAAA and Milingimbi Arts.


Liyagawurrimina, Djambarrpuy, English


Arnhem Land, Garriyak

Governance & Further Qualifications

  • ANKAAA Director (since 2007)
  • Milingimbi Art & Culture, Board Member (since 2005)
  • Milingimbi Art & Culture, Assistant Manager (2005 – 2012)
  • Milingimbi Ganttjirrik Festival, Board Member (2006)
  • Cultural & ceremonial leader
  • Certificate II in Indigenous Leadership, Australian Indigenous Leadership Centre (2009)
  • ORIC Governance Training for ANKAAA Directors (2008 – Days) & (2013 – 2 Days)
  • CDEP, Administration Assistant & Art Centre Worker, (2005)
  • Elcho Island Knowledge Centre, Administration Assistant & Researcher (2001 – 2003)
  • Milingimbi Primary School, Teachers Aid & Tutor (1988 – 1993)
  • Alpa Store Pattern Designer & Seamstress, (1970 – 1975)
  • Experienced public speaker
  • Computer & Literacy Training undertaken