Dereck Japangardi Roderick was born in 1994, in Alice Springs Hospital, the closest hospital to Laramba (Napperby), a remote community 205 km north-west of Alice Springs. His father is Morris Japanangka Roderick and his mother is Phyllis Napurrurla Tilmouth. His Grandparents passed away during the Coniston Massacre which took place near the Coniston cattle station in the Northern Territory in late 1928. He has three siblings, one of whom has also passed away.
Dereck was educated at Kormilda College, a residential secondary college located at Berrimah in Darwin Northern Territory. He enjoyed school, especially sport, particularly swimming and footy. After school, he returned home to Laramba where he played for the local football team. It was football that took him to Yuendumu, where he met Simone Nampinjipa Brown. They married in 2019 and live in Nyirripi, a remote aboriginal community 450 km from Alice Springs.
Dereck began painting with Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation, an Aboriginal owned and governed art centre located in Yuendumu and Nyirripi, in 2019, shortly after he was married. His wife, Simone and her family encouraged Dereck to paint his Dreaming. He paints his mother’s Ngapa Jukurrpa – Puyurru, stories relating directly to his land, its features and the plants and animals that inhabit it. These stories have been passed down through the generations for millennia.
When Dereck is not painting, he likes to play sport and hunt with Simone’s family for kangaroo.