Once a government settlement of over 1800 Western Desert inhabitants, Papunya is now home to 418 residents who are mainly Luritja speakers. Other language groups in Papunya include Pintubi, Warlpiri and Arrernte. Known locally as Warumpi, the community of Papunya is situated 240km northwest of Alice Springs in the Luritja Pintubi Ward of the MacDonnell Regional Council.

Services provided in Papunya by the MacDonnell Regional Council include cemetery maintenance, rubbish collection and tip maintenance, internal roads maintenance, parks and open spaces and sporting grounds.

On behalf of the Northern Territory Government, the Council provides airstrip maintenance as well as Commonwealth Government funded services including children’s services, youth development services, aged care services and night patrol services. Council is also contracted by Power Water Corporation to maintain the power, water and sewerage facilities, Australia Post to provide postal delivery services and by Centrelink to provide its services through an agency in its Council office.

Other facilities of the Papunya community include a Community Store, Primary School, Police Station, Art Centre, Health Centre and Church.