Janet Long Nakamarra was born at Anningie Station, north-west of Alice-Springs NT, near Willowra community. She grew up living a traditional lifestyle with her family. In 1975 she left school and got a job as a Literacy writer, producing books in her language, Warlpiri. She worked at the School for 13 years. In 1990 she did a course through Batchelor College in the NT where she graduated and received a certificate for grade I teaching, then in 1992. She completed her grade 2 teaching in the classroom which lead to her becoming a teacher of Linguistics.
She first began to paint in 1989 on small boards when the community store began to stock art supplies for the artists. It was her half-brother, Malcolm Maloney Jagamarra who appreciated her interest in painting and taught her how to use the medium of acrylics on canvas.
For Warlpiri women from Central Australia during ceremonies to pay homage to the ancestors the women will paint their upper bodies, arms and breasts with markings in ochre paste. The markings themselves symbolise the actions of the ancestors. Janet has a deep knowledge and understanding of language and she uses this to her advantage through her paintings. She is able to translate her Dreaming stories onto canvas without losing any of the vital and sacred cultural knowledge. She is able to tell stories of the mythology of Warlpiri people in a way that anyone is able to understand and learn. Janet sees this as a way of teaching people about her culture.Over the last 5 years she has worked extensively with both the Department of Health and the Law Courts as an interpreter as she speaks a number of languages. She is currently studying law in NSW.