Shannon Smith

My name is Shannon and I am a proud Arrernte man from Ltyentye Apurte and one of the founders of the Ltyentye Apurte Traditional Craft Centre. In English, Ltyentye Apurte sounds like Ginger Porter and our community is also known as Santa Teresa. It’s 80kms southeast of Alice Springs.

Here is a piece of my story.

I have lived in Ltyentye Apurte all my life and I am married with three children. I love to work with my hands. Even as a child I remember building things with whatever I could get my hands on – metal, cardboard, timber, rubbish that I would turn into something fun to play with or beautiful to look at.

My grandfather, Francis Oliver, used to make bush tools, I would sit and watch him, but he passed away when I was very young. Francis just loved doing it – for hunting too, but just loved to sit down all day and carve away. It made him calm. My grandmother would sit with him while he worked, and watched. She taught me what to do, how to do it. I think about my grandfather when I make bush tools. I feel excited when I make the tools, because it connects me with my grandfather.

Before the Craft Centre opened, nobody was interested here to learn about this part of our culture, now everyone is. My kids are proud. No-one in Ltyentye Apurte has had their own business before. Our little business means a lot and it’s good for the whole community. It makes them proud. All the community are talking about how proud they are that we brought this back and teaching the next generation. It will be here for our sons and grandsons. School fellas are learning too. They didn’t know anything when they started.

Thank you for supporting our local business. I am happy to know you now have a little bit of our culture with you through this Boomerang. This helps us keep our culture alive and I am proud to be sharing it with others.