Ngarralja is a Wangkajunga and Walmajarri man. He was born at Yarrnkurnja in the Great Sandy Desert. He dances and sings Kurtal, a ceremony relating to the main jila [living waterhole] in his country. He is also a painter and printmaker. Ngarralja tells this story:
I was big when I left my country. I was already hunting by myself. I was with my young brother and my mother. My father had passed away by this time. I know these stories and these places in my country. I paint these now.
We are not allowed to paint that story for other people’s country. We will get killed or into trouble if we do this. We put that easy story, not a really hard story like law business. We can’t paint that either.
I first saw paintings in caves. I learned a lot from people, mostly my father and grandfather. I was living all around in my country, camping all around. When I paint I think about this.
Ngarralja is fluent in Wangkajunga, Walmajarri and English and writes Walmajarri. He is a founding member of the Karrayili Adult Education Centre where he learnt to read and write his own language and English.
Ngarralja is an important person for art and culture in Fitzroy Crossing. He is a former Deputy Chairman of Mangkaja Arts and former Chairman of Kimberley Aboriginal Law and Cultural Centre (KALACC). Ngarralja was also an executive for twenty one years on the Association of Northern Kimberley and Arnhem Aboriginal Artists (ANKAAA) Board of Directors.
Ngarralja lives with his children at Mindi Rardi Community in Fitzroy Crossing.