Mervyn was born at the Telegraph Station in Alice Springs. His mother, Cynthia (Kamara) was a Western Arrernte woman. His father was the famous painter, the late Winton Rubuntja Pengarte, an important role model as a a senior Lawman and respected member of his community. He fought for Aboriginal rights and protection of the land and worked alongside the Central Land Council and assisted in the Marbo agreement. (See his biography The Town grew up Dancing, IAD Press). Mervyn is following in his father“’s footsteps and painting his watercolours in the way his father taught him.