c.1942 – 2018
Phyllis was born at Ivanhoe Station in c. 1942 where her father was the station cook and her mother worked in the kitchen. She and her sister, artist Nancy Dilyai, grew up at Ivanhoe and eventually assisted their mother in the Station House with domestic duties. Phyllis was a stock-camp cook, and whilst enjoying the life looked forward to holiday time with the rest of her family at Argyle. Phyllis and Nancy both spent a great deal of time at Argyle Station, owned by the Duracks, until it was submerged with the building of the Ord River Dam.
Phyllis has several children and many grandchildren and great grandchildren. Phyllis and Nancy were both senior artists and traditional owners of their land and lived together for many years in Kununurra. They didn’t begin to paint until the late 1990’s after they had finished ‘growing up’ their families. They were so alike in appearance and mannerisms, but definitely individualistic when it came to their style of painting.
Such was Phyllis’s standing in the community as a traditional owner and senior artist, she was asked to design the logo for MG (Miriuwung Gajerrong) Corporation, the leading indigenous organisation in the East Kimberley, which was established to represent and advance the native title and community interests of the MG people, the traditional owners of the lands affected by the Ord River irrigation scheme around Kununurra, WA.
Phyllis passed away after a short illness in 2018. She was a kind, talented lady and will be missed by all that knew her.