Place of Birth: Nguiu, Bathurst Island
Mother’s Country: Yapalika (Maxwell Creek), Melville Island
Father’s Country: New Zealand, South Island
Skin Group: Takaringa (Mullet)
Dance/Dreaming: Jarrikalani (Turtle)
Karina is the daughter of Florence Puruntatameri-Coombes, and Graeme Coombes. Her mother is a Tiwi woman from Pirlangimpi Community on Melville Island. Her father originated from Queenstown, New Zealand but married Florence as a young man and called Pirlangimpi home for over 30 years. He raised Karina and her siblings on the islands, visiting New Zealand only a handful of times during that time with his wife and children. Graeme passed away in 2010.
Karina still lives permanently at Pirlangimpi with her three children, Stanley, Latoya and Janae. She works for the Tiwi Islands Training and Employment Board. Also now known as ‘Penny’ due to her being a Penrith Panthers supporter as a young girl, she now follows AFL more so than Rugby League. Her artistic career began in mid – 2010 under the direction of her grandfather, Justin Puruntatameri and Florence (Justin’s eldest daughter) Justin in particular was able to give Karina invaluable advice on what she could correctly portray as defined by her Tiwi family ties. She has since progressed from depicting Jarrikalani and Takaringa, to portraying the various incarnations of the night sky as it appears over the Tiwi Islands.