Olive Knight


Kankawa Nagarra (Olive Knight) is a Walmatjarri Elder, international blues and gospel singer-songwriter, teacher and mentor, human rights advocate, and political activist.

Heralding from Wangkatjungka, near Fitzroy Crossing,  worked in community health, released three albums, performed on Broadway, toured internationally with Hugh Jackman, and been nominated for WA Senior Australian of the Year.

She helped develop the Walmatjarri dictionary in the 1960s, has supported research on understanding, preventing and treating FASD (fetal alcohol spectrum disorders) in the Indigenous community, and continues to raise awareness about alcohol abuse.

A well-respected Elder, her earliest recollections of music are of traditional songs sung around the campfire, which lulled her into a peaceful sleep. She remembers nullanullas thumping the bare earth, clap sticks and boomerangs, and the rhythmic songs of her forefathers.