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Two Sisters

Ngarta and Jukuna lived in the Great Sandy Desert. They traversed country according to the seasons, just as the Walmajarri people had done for thousands of years. But it was a time of change. Desert people who had lived with little knowledge of European settlement were now moving onto cattle stations. Those left behind were vulnerable and faced unimaginable challenges. In 1961, when Jukuna leaves with her new husband, young Ngarta remains with a group of women and children. Tragedy strikes and Ngarta is forced to travel alone. Her survival depends on cunning and courage as she is pursued by two murderers in a vast unforgiving landscape. Jukuna’s rich account may be the first autobiography written in an Aboriginal language. Presented in English and Walmajarri, her determination to see her language written has made her one of our most valued authors.

See also Growing up in the Desert, a DVD about author, Mona Chuguna.


Praise for Two Sisters

"a remarkable story of courage and survival that traverses vast desert country."

Sally Morgan


"Unwavering courage shouts resolutely from the pages of this lyrical but gutsy true account of two Walmajarri sisters as they are pursued by murderers and face the loss of their ancient lifestyle.”."

Marie Munkara


"Two Sisters is a captivating read and a beautifully produced book inside and out."

Kyra Thomsen
Writing NSW


"I have read a few books by desert people, but I haven’t read one like this. It is hard to convey the sense of wonder with which I read it. Two Sisters is an authentic account of an ancient way of life as it was lived by sisters Ngarta and Jukuna in the Great Sandy Desert, and then it covers the period when this way of life was disrupted by the coming of Europeans into the north."

Lisa Hill
ANZ LitLovers LitBlog

Eirlys Richards

As a member of the Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL), Eirlys Richards worked in Fitzroy Crossing in the Kimberley region of Western Australia for sixteen years, studying Walmajarri, compiling a dictionary and teaching speakers of the language to read their...

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Jukuna Mona Chuguna

Jukuna Mona Chuguna (deceased) was a Walmajarri woman from the Great Sandy Desert in Western Australia. She left the desert with her husband in the 1950s to live and work on cattle and sheep stations in the Kimberley's Fitzroy Valley....

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Ngarta Jinny Bent

Ngarta Jinny Bent (deceased) spent her early years as a hunter and gatherer. As a young woman, she moved onto stations in the Kimberley. Ngarta’s art work has been exhibited in Austalia and overseas. She died in 2002.

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Pat Lowe

Pat Lowe was born and grew up in England but dreamed of migrating to Australia, which she did in 1972. She worked as a teacher in Africa and as a prison psychologist in Australia, but writing has always been her...

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Other titles by Eirlys Richards

Other titles by Jukuna Mona Chuguna

Other titles by Pat Lowe