Rene grew up in Ernabella and Amata in the north of South Australia before marrying and moving to Docker River and later Mutitjulu. Her parents Walter Pukutiwara and Topsy Tjulyata, were acclaimed wood carvers and founders of Maruku Arts. Rene is a member of the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park Board of Joint Management, the NPY Women’s Council Executive, and the Central Australian Aboriginal Women’s Choir. Rene was also a founding director of Walkatjara Art and a current director and previous chair of Maruku. Rene spends much of her time travelling as both artist and advocate for her people.