Nellie Ngampa Coulthard was born in the bush near the Wintinna Homestead Cattle Station, where her father worked as a shepherd. Nellie and her family travelled constantly with her father while he undertook this roaming work.
As a young woman, Nellie worked in domestic service at the Granite Downs Cattle Station, which is where she met the young stockman who became her husband. They settled in Indulkana where they raised their children. Nellie worked at the then newly established Indulkana pre-school, playing an important role in the early-years education of the children in her community.
Following her retirement as an educator, Nellie has been a prolific artist, working across painting and tjanpi (native grass) weaving. Nellie’s paintings evoke her memories of her nomadic childhood, spent on country near Oodnadatta and specifically refer to the Tjuntala (acacia wattle tree) that were a frequent source of bush food for her family.
Nellie was a finalist in the Wynne Prize at the Art Gallery of New South Wales in 2018 and 2019.