Kay Baker was born in c. 1950 in the bush near Pukatja (Ernabella). She grew up at Ernabella Mission where her father, senior lawman and artist Jimmy Baker had moved to in the early 1930s. She first went to school when she was about 10 years old. When she was 12, Kay moved back to her mother’s country at Mimili (Everard Park) with her family. Her father worked around that area as a stockman.
In her mid teens, Kay moved to Fregon (Kaltjiti community) in the far northwest corner of South Australia with the family and then went onto Yirara Lutheran College in Alice Springs. After school she moved back to Kaltjiti where she got a job at the Arts Centre. It was there that she started to learn arts and crafts (primarily batik and basket weaving) from her aunty, Wipana Jimmy. Kay worked at the art centre for 15 years during which time she met her husband and had 5 children including exciting young artists Patricia Tunkin and Teresa Baker.
In 1985, she moved with her father and family to the settlement of Kanpi which, at the time, consisted only of a shed which doubled as a shop and two houses. Since that time, the family has played a key role in the Kanpi and Watarru townships including the establishment of Tjunga Palya art centre. Today Kay is a Director of the art centre and spends her time between Kanpi, Watarru and Alice Springs.