Later Tjapangati lived on the farm at Papunya, and was among the first Pintupi men to begin painting on hardboard in 1971. By the end of the seventies, Timmy had been spending most of his time with relatives at Balgo Mission, to the north-west of Papunya. In 1981, Timmy Payungka moved to Kintore, where he played a key role in establishing the traditional Pintupi settlement at Kiwirrkura, closer to his original land.
At this time, he also became a key guardian for the 'new people,' a group of nine Pintupi who had stayed isolated in the Gibson Desert for over twenty years, only making contact with their relatives again after seeing the smoke from their distant hunting fires. Tjapangati was a prominent ceremonial leader, knowledgeable of many stories, rituals, and traditional laws, and acted as a key custodian of the important Parrayingi ceremonial cite and Lake Hazlett area.
In his later years, Timmy Payungka was forced to permanently stay in Alice Springs, the third-largest town in the Northern Territory, for a regular dialysis treatment. Tjapangati continued painting, with assistance of his wife Emily, until his death in May 2000. Sadly, he passed away only a few months prior to a major Papunya Tula: Genesis and Genius Exhibition at the Art Gallery of New South Wales during the Sydney Olympics. Timmy's painting Secret Sandhills (1972), shown as part of this exhibition, inspired an Australian experimental pianist Ross Bolleter to wrote 'Secret Sandhills for six ruined pianos,' that was eventually released on his WARPS Studios label, as well as on Secret Sandhills And Satellites CD at Emanem label. Bolleter also created a surround-sound version of Secret Sandhills together with Anthony Cormican for 2005 Totally Huge New Music Festival.
Other names: Tim Tjapangarti, Payungu, Pyungu, Japangardi, Puyungku