Puna Yanima was born in the bush, close to DeRose Hill Station in the far north of South Australia. Her father was Norman Yanima and his country was Piltati, near Nyapari, on the APY Lands. Her mother was Lucy Yanima and she was born in Indulkana. Puna spent her first years living off the land and traveling between communities with her parents and her four siblings. She grew up speaking Yankunytjatjara, and eventually moved to Indulkana as a young girl. Once Puna started a family on her own, she moved to Mimili with her partner and four children.
Puna continues to be one of the senior cultural leaders of Mimili Community. She is passionate about sharing her knowledge of inma (ceremonial song and dance) and culture with the next generation. Puna was introduced to the storylines of Antara as a young woman, and has since continued to integrate this knowledge into her life, passionately caring for kapi tjukula (rock holes),apu (rocks) and murpu (mountains). Antara is a landscape which is surrounded by rocks, rock holes, creeks and mountains. It is a sacred place near Mimili, in the beautiful Everard Ranges of Australia, south of Alice Springs. The people of Mimili have been living in the area for millennia in harmony with nature and acting as custodians of the land and the Tjukurpa (creation stories).
Puna Yanima often goes on bush trips and camps out for several days with her family. She started connecting her deep knowledge of country with the practice of painting as soon as Mimili Maku Arts was founded. As one of the community leaders, she was instrumental in developing the art centre in its early stages. Today, Puna is best known for the inky, fluid and free artworks, that radiate a sense of play and joyfulness.