First Yolngu Nations Assembly held in Galiwin’ku


The first ever Yolŋu Nations Assembly (YNA) was held from 14th-17th October in Galiwin’ku, bringing together clan leaders from across Arnhem Land.

Below is a letter of thanks from Yolŋu leaders to those who supported the gathering.

31st October 2011

Dear Supporters,

On behalf of Yolŋu Nations Assembly (YNA), I would like to extend our deep gratitude for your support of the first assembly from Friday 14th to Monday 17th October.

 The Yolŋu Nations Assembly has been formed to represent eight traditional states that cover East, Central and West Arnhem Land. These states are called: Miwatj, Laynha, Raminy, Marthakal, Garriny, Gumurr-Rawarraŋ, Gaṯtjirrik and Miḏiyirrk.

 The outcomes of the assembly will be made public in the coming months.

The First Yolŋu Nations Assembly was a very uplifting time for all the leaders involved. It cannot be expressed how greatly this action has provided a source of hope for the Arnhem Land people. One can’t help feel that this is a changing of the tide for this region, an expression of self-determination in what has been a sad period of external take-over.

It was with your generous support that this uplifting event could take place. More information will follow, but until then, please accept our sincere gratitude for supporting us on this journey.


Rev Dr Djiniyini Gondarra OAM

Djirrikay for Dhurili Clan Nation



Djiniyini Gondarra, Djirrikay for the Dhurili Clan Nation, speaks at the Opening Ceremony. Photo by Zephyr L’Green


About Richard Trudgen

Richard was born in Orange NSW and trained as a fitter and turner. He moved to Arnhem Land in the NT in 1973 and became a community worker, learning to speak Djambarrpuyŋu. Has now worked with Yolŋu people for over 45 years. He was the CEO of Aboriginal Resource and Development Services (ARDS) for 10 years during which time he developed discovery education methodology with Rev Dr Djiniyini Gondarra OAM and also established Yolŋu Radio in 2003. He is the author of Why Warriors Lie Down and Die and facilitated ‘Bridging the Gap’ seminars, and delivered corporate training across Australia. He is currently the CEO of Why Warriors Pty Ltd, a community development social enterprise organisation working with Yolngu people. He spends his day writing, producing podcasts and building online learning platforms, producing videos and working face to face with Yolngu. He is also involved in building online cross-cultural training material to build understanding between Indigenous peoples and the Dominant Culture.

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