Ritchie Jampijinpa Robertson was born in 1950, on Mount Doreen Station, an extensive cattle breeding station established in 1932, about 55 km west of Yuendumu in the Northern Territory of Australia. His parents were living a traditional lifestyle in that area, and when he was young his parents would take him out bush, showing him sites and teaching him the traditional ways of his country. Rtichie later moved to Yuendumu with his family. Yuendumu is a remote Aboriginal community located 290 km north-west of Alice Springs, and was established in 1947. By 1955 many of the Warlpiri people had settled in the community. Ritchie attended the local school for a short time. When Ritchie left school he worked in Yuendumu doing various jobs around the settlement such as putting a fence around the football oval.
He was married to Connie Nakamarra White and had two children, Marlene and Sam. He is now married to Tess Napaljarri Ross, a Warlukurlangu Artists, but they have no children together.
In 2006 Ritchie started painting with Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation, an Aboriginal owned and governed art centre in Yuendumu. He paints his stepfather’s Jukurrpa stories, Dreamings which relate directly to his land, its features and the plants and animals that inhabit it. These stories were passed down to him by his stepfather and his stepfather’s father for millennia. His stepfather is Shorty Jangala Robertson, a successful artist with Warlukurlangu Artists and his Jukurrpa is Ngapa Jukurrpa (Water Dreaming).
He spends a lot of time hunting with other men for kangaroo and other bush food.