Tjirrkarli Community began as an outstation of Warburton, about 140km to the north west, near Lake Breaden, one of many salt lakes in the region. The community was first settled in the 1980s when Shell Oil installed a bore nearby as they searched for oil. Ngaanyatjarra Council negotiated an agreement with Shell Oil to make sure that their exploration did not disturb any sacred sites in the area. During this time many traditional owners who had previously moved from the Tjirrkarli area returned, including some from Warburton, Cosmo Newberry and Wiluna. In 1987 the community became incorporated and a member of the Ngaanyatjarra Council.
Tjirrkarli has a community store, a Ngaanyatjarra Lands school, and women's centre.