Milpirri - Yinapaka 2022


Tracks and Lajamanu Community Residency

Lajamanu, Northern Territory
May and August/September
Performance and exhibition events: throughout the residency

Making Knowledge Visible through Celebration

Yinapaka (Lake Surprise) is a Warlpiri sacred site, the place of the Sky Ceremony where birds congregate, wanting to learn how to fly higher and be superior hunters. 

With COVID-19 restrictions and the Lajamanu community being a restricted area for most of that time, this project has been extended over several years. This year the Tracks team worked with members of the Lajamanu community to activate the knowledge found in the Yinapaka themes. They worked at the school, Warnayaka Arts Centre, and in the general community. With a focus on uninitiated youth, the dance-making made Warlpirri knowledge visible for the whole community to share and celebrate. 

A final performance took place at the Lajamanu School

Australian Research Council (ARC) knowledge and innovation project with the University of NSW will run concurrently with this project.

Creative Team

Lead Artists: Steve Jampijinpa Patrick, Jerry Jangala, David McMicken, and Tim Newth.
Animateurs: StephSpillet and Bec Reid.
Film and Production: Duane Preston

ARC researchers: Dr Jennifer Biddle, Dr Sudiipta Dowset and Dr Miles Holmes

Bringing the Whole Community Together

Lajamanu is the northernmost Warlpiri community (technically situated on Gurindji country) of approximately five hundred people, located in the Tanami Desert, 950 kilometres south of Darwin. Tracks artists have a long relationship with the community of Lajamanu and its people. They have been working together since 1988.

The Milpirri performances they have created together have been described as: “ of the most successful community arts collaborations today, modelling new trajectories for the arts industry and professional partnership. It is also one of the industry’s least well-known initiatives (at least, to the broader, non-Warlpiri, public) because it remains radically site-specific.” - Dr Jennifer Biddle -University of NSW.




It was the first time I had ever seen them. It was very moving, I got chills it was so beautiful. And I was really impressed, the Principle seemed really excited to see it and was really into the music, and now wants to use the music for the school bell. And the teachers seemed to get really excited. And the kids looked so happy, they were gorgeous. I was really really impressed and I feel like it was a very special opportunity for me to see that. - Kim Williamson - Youth Worker

They seemed to be really enjoying it. And lots of them seemed to know the words which was great. So many kids, the participation was top notch. - Monkey Marc (Marc Peckham) - Milpirri Composer

The attention to detail in the banners and colours and costumes were really well put together thought out. The crew did an amazing job, getting all the kids together and teaching them the dancers. A really good flow of colour and sound and movement. I feel really privileged to be there. I learnt a lot about their culture and how these stories are used to teach the kids. - James - Film Maker



Explore Further

Milpirri dances 2005-current

Lajamanu Milpirri Home Page

Tracks 2022


Artistic Co-Directors: David McMicken and Tim Newth (Tim currently on long service leave)
Company Director: Adelaide Wood
Assoc. Artistic Director: Jessica Devereux
Dance Animateur: Kelly Beneforti and Steph Spillett
Production Manager: Duane Preston
Administrator: Mikaela Earnshaw and Debbie Micairan
Bookkeeper: It Figures

Committee Members

David Taylor (Chairperson), Max Dewa Stretton (Vice-Chairperson), Glenn Bernardin (Treasurer), Venaska Cheliah, Andrea Wicking, Rachael Wallis, Michael Grant, Ken Conway. David McMicken, Tim Newth, and Adelaide Wood (Ex-Officio Members)

Public Fund Trustees

Maari Gray, Will Crawford, and Lachlan Peattie


Her Honour the Honourable Vicki O’Halloran AM, Administrator of the Northern Territory

Company Partner

Tracks Inc is proudly sponsored by the Northern Territory Government

Project Partner

Newmont Goldcorp

Supporting Partner

University of New South Wales

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