Pictured top left to right: Maureen Nampijinpa O’Keefe, Trevor Byrne, Marie Elena Ellis, Amelia Kngwarraye Turner, Tisha Perrurle Carter, Margaret Scobie. Bottom left to right: Elaine Kngwarraye Peckham and Sylvia Perrurle Neale. Running Water Community Press Christmas Party 2022, Mparntwe Alice Springs.


We are a not-for-profit community-controlled publisher run by our authors and storytellers in Mparntwe Alice Springs. We are the only independent publisher in the NT and we are currently working toward becoming the first author-run publishing cooperative in Australia. We centre First Nations storytelling and truth-telling from remote areas and are committed to a range of copyright justice initiatives from repatriation of stolen stories to building greater protections for First Nations storytellers and their Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property rights.

We work in partnership with a number of local and national organisations including Akeyulerre Healing Centre, Arid Lands Environment Centre, Arplwe Art and Culture Centre Ali Curung, BLACKBOOKS a division of Tranby Aboriginal Cooperative, Arts Law and the First Nations Australian Writers Network. Our titles are distributed by NewSouth Books to hundreds of outlets nation-wide as well as in Aotearoa/New Zealand. Our titles have previously been showcased at the Frankfurt Book Fair, the largest publishing industry event in the world and have also gained the attention of the Prime Minister of Australia Anthony Albanese (see below)! 

Twitter post by Prime Minister Antony Albanese upon receiving a copy of  Living In Hope: the complete memoirs of Frank Byrne (2022) from Senator Pat Dodson, 23 November 2022. Federal Parliament House, Canberra.

Running Water Community Press began as a local writers group in the 1990’s and operated under the name of Ptilotus Press from 1996 until 2021. To see the titles we released on the Ptilotus Press imprint, please click here (some are still for sale). We build close relationships with our authors and community to which we are accountable. These relationship-centred collaborative processes are essential to participatory publishing. Contracts are tailored to the needs of authors and we prioritise channelling resources back into community.

At present, our press relies on the in-kind work of our members, donations from supporters and project grants. Funds from book sales are put back into publications and our local literary community. We regularly support the Indigenous Literacy Foundation through providing our titles at a discounted rate to the Book Supply program. All contributions to Running Water Community Press are tax-deductible. If you would like to support our work, see the options here. 

If you would like to be a part of our collective work, please get in touch through contact@runningwatercommunitypress.com

Running Water Community Press board hosts the board of the First Nations Australia Writers Network in February 2022. Mpartnwe Alice Springs. Pictured top left to right: Olivia Nigro, Eugenia Flynn, Jessika Spencer, Trevor Byrne, Valencia Byrne, Tisha Perrurle Carter. Bottom left to right: Sam Faulkner, Maureen Nampijinpa O’Keefe, Yvette Henry Holt, Marie Elena Ellis and Amelia Kngwarraye Turner.


Marie Elena Ellis is an Arrernte Warlpiri woman from Amoonguna Community, 11km south-east of Mparntwe Alice Springs. She is a cultural adviser, educator, multi-linguist and interpreter. She was selected to be on the First Nations Advisory Board for Pearson Publishing, one of the largest publishers of education resources in Australia. Marie is a scriptwriter and a writer of short stories and poems. She is currently working on a comedy mockumentary called Twoakyte (Tour Guide) and a bi-lingual collection of poetry in Arrernte and English.

Marie is pictured to the far left, alongside MP for Lingiari Marion Scrymgour and Maureen Nampijinpa O’Keefe during a visit to Running Water Community Press in November 2022.


Maureen Nampijinpa O’Keefe is a Kaytetye Warlpiri woman from Ali Curung remote community, 400km north of Mparntwe Alice Springs. She is a writer, storyteller and artist. Maureen’s short stories and poems have been widely published including by IAD Press, UWA and Magabala Books. In 2014, she was awarded the Magabala Books Australian Indigenous Creators’ Scholarship. Maureen has performed at writers’ festivals across the country and has published work in Croatia.

Maureen is pictured standing second from the right, with her sister and family, Olivia Nigro and Alex Vaughan during the Water Justice Project on her Country outside Alekerenge in May 2023.


Amelia Kngwarraye Turner is a cultural leader, Angangkere (traditional healer), artist and was leading Akeyulerre’s Healing Centre’s Angkwerre-Iweme (Traditional Healing) Project for over eight years. Her poetry is featured in Arelhekenhe Angkentye: Women’s Talk.

Amelia is pictured to the far left, next to Mparntwe Traditional Owner Elaine Kngwarraye Peckham and Trevor Byrne. This photo was taken at the launch of Living In Hope: the complete memoirs of Frank Byrne in Mpartnwe Alice Springs, July 2022 where Amelia offered the Welcome to Country and poetry readings.


Tisha Carter is an Anmatjere woman from Ti Tree community, 200 kms north of Mparntwe Alice Springs. She has worked for the Akeyulerre Healing Centre in Mpartnwe Alice Springs for over eight years looking after the Elders and organising bush medicine and smoking workshops. Her poetry is featured in Arelhekenhe Angkentye Women’s Talk.

Tisha is pictured third from the left during a road trip across the Tanami Desert with the Byrne family and press mob to return Living In Hope to Frank Byrne’s burial place and launch the book with his families and fellow Stolen Generations in Joy Springs community in October 2022. 


Trevor Byrne is an Arrernte Gooniyandi man who lives at Iwupataka homelands, 30km west of Mparntwe Alice Springs. He is the eldest son and representative for the late author, Frank Byrne. Trevor has dedicated his life to supporting his people in the local community across numerous roles and currently works with the housing support team at Tangentyere Council.

Trevor is pictured to the far right, standing alongside his family members, after the launch of Living In Hope: the complete memoirs of Frank Byrne in Mparntwe Alice Springs in July 2022.



Valencia Byrne is an Arrernte Gooniyandi woman who lives at Iwupataka homelands, 30km west of Mparntwe Alice Springs. She is the daughter and representative for the late author, Frank Byrne. Valencia is a matriarch in her family and community and she currently works offering case support to women and children at the local women’s shelter.

Valencia is pictured standing in the centre between her grandmother’s and father’s graves, alongside her children, family members and press mob, during the visit to Joy Springs community in October 2022 to return Living In Hope to Country.


Associate Professor Kathryn Gilbey is an Alyawarr scholar and the Executive Dean at Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education. The former Director of the Batchelor Graduate School she specialises in First Nations knowledges, inclusive education and critical race theories. Kathryn has worked in the field of Education for many years in the Northern Territory. In an earlier life she was the Artistic Director of an Aboriginal Youth Theatre Company in Adelaide, and freelance Writer and Director.

Kathryn is pictured standing to the far left in a selfie taken at Running Water Community Press after a board meeting in August 2023.




Olivia Nigro was born on the unceded lands of the Gadigal people (Sydney) to a migrant family. Over the past 15 years they have been active in justice movements as a writer, researcher, community organiser, campaigner and media strategist. In their academic life, Olivia works with senior Wiradjuri academic Aunty Juanita Sherwood in the areas of health, decolonisation and cultural safety. Olivia has been visiting the central desert since 2008 and has lived in Mpartnwe Alice Springs for over seven years. An active member of the press since 2018, they have worked with authors and local community to transition from Ptilotus Press to Running Water Community Press.

Olivia is pictured centered between Maureen Nampijinpa O’Keefe on the left and Theresa Penangke Alice on the right during a press meeting on Country at Anthwerrke, August 2022.