Pirrawayingi Puruntatameri is a Miyartuwi (Pandanus) elder from Pirlangimpi. He is a cultural elder and performs ceremonies, and was the first Chairman of TITEB. He has 16 grandchildren, two great-grandchildren – it’s a big responsibility.
Pirrawayingi went to primary school on the island and was the first Tiwi person to attend secondary school at Monivae College, Hamilton, Victoria. After school, he completed teacher training at the Aboriginal Teacher Education Centre (ATEC) at Batchelor.
Pirrawayingi worked as a teacher at Pirlangimpi and Wurrumiyanga. He is currently on the Boards of Tiwi Enterprise, Munupi Arts, Tiwi Regional Council, Correctional Services, and Menzies School of Health and Research.
His dream is that key organisations like TITEB will be fully owned by and run by Tiwi people. With his experience helping people, mentoring young kids, Pirrawayingi is optimistic that Tiwi people can bring western culture and Tiwi culture together. No one thing is more important than the other. When we operate in this day and age, we must never forget our cultural side, our identity.