MK Turner OAM
M. Kemarre Turner is a respected Eastern Arrernte elder, cultural adviser, translator, teacher, social justice champion, artist and author.
In 1997 she was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for her service to the Aboriginal community of Central Australia, particularly through preserving language and culture and interpreting.
She was born in Harts Range region, north-east of Alice Springs. She is recognised across the region as a ‘Professor’ – a holder of customary law, practice and knowledge. She is a qualified language interpreter and has taught language and culture and a cross-cultural courses in Alice Springs for 30 years.
Ms Turner was one of the founders of Irrkelantye Learning Centre, focusing on intergenerational learning for Arrernte people. She also founded Ingarte Mikwekenhe. She is an elder to the board of Akeyulerre, a Healing Centre in Alice Springs dedicated to Arrernte culture and practice in traditional healing and wellbeing. She is Anangkere (Traditional Healer), law woman and leader. She has fought for the rights of Aboriginal people for over four decades and continues to fight for these rights today. She is dedicated to keeping Arrernte culture, life and language deep and rich for future generations.
MK Turner is also a celebrated artist and author and has written three books. Bushfoods and Everything Comes from the Land were published in 2005. Her latest book, Iwenhe Tyrrtye – what does it mean to be an Aboriginal person? was published in 2011.
Listen to an ABC interview with MK Turner from 2013 (mp3).