A project in responsive development

After much dreaming and planning we are about to embark on an exciting new project in developing human enterprise in NE Arnhem Land. While it is hard to say what this project will look like on the ground, it is the nature of what we are trying to achieve that we do not control the outcome, the people do. And so we plan our departure to Arnhem Land with wide open minds and the knowledge that the possibilities of this project really are endless.

Arnhem Human Enterprise Development -AHED

This is a unique project in the context of work done on Indigenous communities in that the approach is very holistic, the method allows for the facilitation of, well, everything – everything the people have a passion to achieve. We recognise the many problems faced by remote Indigenous people in trying to make a place for themselves within the structures of top down development and systemic welfare. We believe a key response is to enable the people to realise their own dreams and to shape their own realities. This is the only way to truly break down the barriers they face in taking control of the direction of their lives.

The fundamental principles behind what we are doing come from a combination of methodologies which focus on respectful cross cultural communication, and finding ways to support the people turning their ideas into a reality.

So how do we plan to do this? By being available to any person, outside of the confines of service provision, Indigenous development policy, and contractual obligations, we can be present to hear and respond to the requests of local individuals. By having clear methods that avoid entering into paternalism or welfare approaches to helping people. We use our support networks to facilitate access to the resources, knowledge, training or personnel that limit the people turning of dream into reality. With the right methodology the people can become and remain the driving force in their own projects. We hope to provide the resources to remove the obstacles to enabling real, effective and people driven change and support the people in developing their own ideas and fulfilling their desires.

We imagine that projects could be anything from helping a person become literate in their own language so that they can write songs, to assisting someone who wants to manage their health, or helping establish a business enterprise. But true empowerment of the people is only found in these thing if they maintain ownership and control of the ideas.

So what we are asking now is for support in this project. You can find more information on our website about how you can help, but also please pass this information onto others who might be interested and feel welcome to contact us if you would like to support us in anyway.

About Richard Trudgen

Born in Orange NSW, trained as a fitter and turner. Moved to Arnhem Land in 1973 one year for voluntary work, ended up staying 37 years, learnt language and trained in community development work. Wrote “Why Warriors Lie Down and Die” in 2000. Established Yolŋu Radio in 2003. Was CEO of ARDS Inc for 10 years. Developed discovery education methodology. Runs ‘Bridging the Gap’ seminars and training workshops, does conferencing speaking. Wants to build an e-learning school for Yolŋu people using both their own language and English so Yolŋu children and adults have a schooling system that works for them; plus one they can access anywhere. Trying to write my next book “When a New World Drops in on You”.

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