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Charley Apma (c. 1873–1941)

by Kath Apma Penangke

Charley Apma (c. 1873–1941) was born in the early 1870s in the vicinity of Jay Creek, west of Alice Springs, the Northern Territory, one of three sons of Ulburarinja and his wife Intenjarinja. His conception site was Nkaritjoa. He married Joulta in the 1890s and they had two children, Sandy White and Undelya (Minnie) Apma; Joulta also had two sons, Dick Taylor and Jack Kenny. In 1920 Undelya was stolen by the anthropologist, geologist, and medical practitioner Herbert Basedow and taken to Adelaide. Apma made several impassioned appeals for the return of his daughter but was not successful. A ceremonial leader for the Central Arrernte people, he shared his cultural knowledge with the anthropologist Theodor (Ted) Strehlow during the 1930s. He died on 12 February 1941.

Citation details

Kath Apma Penangke, 'Apma, Charley (c. 1873–1941)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 13 July 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Apmwe, Charley
  • Apma Peltharre, Charley

c. 1873
Jay Creek, Northern Territory, Australia


12 February, 1941 (aged ~ 68)
Alice Springs, Northern Territory, Australia

Cause of Death


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