Myfany Turpin

Dr Myfany Turpin

  • Post Nominals: FAHA
  • Fellow Type: Fellow
  • Elected to the Academy: 2019
  • Section(s): Linguistics, Arts


Associate Professor Myfany Turpin is a musicologist and linguist whose work focuses on understanding and maintaining the traditional songs, lexicon and ecological knowledge of Indigenous Australia. She has undertaken extensive fieldwork in central Australia since 1995 with speakers of Arandic, Warlpiri and Western Desert languages.

Myfany Turpin completed her undergraduate training in Music and Linguistics at the University of Melbourne in 1994 followed by honours in Linguistics at ANU. She completed her PhD in 2005 at the University of Sydney on Kaytetye ceremonial songs. From 2007-2011 she held post-doctoral Fellowships to document verbal art in central Australia. In 2014 she was awarded an ARC Future Fellowship to develop a typology of central Australian Aboriginal song. In 2018 she was awarded a University of Sydney Fellowship to trace the origins of Wanji-wanji, a ceremony known across Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory.

Her publications include a dictionary of the Kaytetye language, as well as articles in music, linguistics, ethnobiology and anthropology. She has collaborated on many community books, films, and multimedia resources enabling access to recordings of endangered languages and songs.

Acknowledgement of Country

The Australian Academy of the Humanities recognises Australia’s First Nations Peoples as the traditional owners and custodians of this land, and their continuous connection to country, community and culture.