Mary Thomas was born 18 August 1944 at Chinaman’s Gardens Community in the East Kimberley. She is the mother of nine children, all of whom are now grown up and, like Mary, well educated and well respected community members.
She is of Kitja skin and speaks a number of dialects. Mary has been a tireless worker for the women and children of her community, teaching culture, craft, art and associated Dreamtime Stories of the land and her heritage. She resides at Warmun Community (Turkey Creek).
Mary is a dedicated linguist, interpreting for meetings, court procedures and very importantly for a publication about the Kitja people titled Digging Sticks to Writing Sticks by Sister Veronica Ryan of the Catholic Education Department.
Mary’s artworks are neat and precise landscape works, complete with in-depth Ngarrangkarni (Kitja Dreaming) stories. She has not exhibited, preferring to devote her time to teaching the children of Warmun Community. However, with her obvious talent, the opportunity to showcase her artworks and the knowledge of her Culture is now presented and she has indicated her desire to pursue a career in both painting and artefact making.