Gladys Kuru Bidu Australian, Manyjilyjarra, b. 1959
“Wantili is my place, where I was born. It’s a place where everyone was living–it’s all of theirngurra (home). It’s the Jukurrpa (Dreaming) of that place. All those claypans, a place where everyone comes together for ceremony and gatherings, all meeting with different families. Iwent there with my aunt [Jakayu Biljabu] and my sister [Kumpaya Girgirba]- they told me thestory of where I was born, in pujiman (traditional, desert dwelling) times. We walked all over theplace, I was just a little one.”-Gladys Bidu Kuru Gladys is a Karimarra woman, she was born near Wantili and speaks Manjilyajarra. Gladys andher family were picked up when she was a baby in Yulpul and taken first to Parngurr, then toJigalong Mission, where she attended the mission school. From there she travelled with her family to Strelley Station, and then to Camp 61, an outstation on Bilanooka Station. “We stayed there with the old people, so many old people they set up a Martu school there” shesays, “Then we heard Martu were going back to their homeland, their ngurra, so then wecame to Punmu with those old people, Mr Lane and the other old people.”Settling in Punmu during the Return to Country movement of the early 1980s, Gladys assisted with the establishment of the Punmu School in the Community’s bough shelter when she was lookingafter her sister’s children.Today Gladys is an accomplished teacher and respected cultural advisor for the KanyirninpaJukurrpa Martu ranger program, and works with Punmu School as a senior cultural and linguistics adviser and board member. “I speak on behave of Martu as a board member of theschool and KJ and with Martumili. I am a cultural adviser and language adviser supporting people with interpreting, recording, going out bush and going to conferences for language. The school has two way learning: Martu way and English. Helping people to be strong in bothways. It’s a lot of travel many, many places.