Dharaŋanawuy – deep mutual respect and understanding

This is a short video exploring the confusion between the knowledge systems and worldview of Yolŋu culture and the dominant culture of mainstream Australia, and the devastating impacts this confusion has on Yolŋu people. Dharaŋanawuy – a Yolŋu word meaning deep mutual respect and understanding, is what we need to work towards finding a way forward. Watch the video below:

Produced by Dianne Biritjalawuy Gondarra (from the Golumala clan of the Dhurili nation and AHED community education worker) and Jazlie Davis-Grygoruk (AHED team member) in Galiwin’ku, Elcho Island, 2014.

See http://ahed.whywarriors.com.au for more information about the AHED Project.


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.


Add your comment:

  1. Daniel

    Hi I’m seeking advice on a tattoo I’ve got on a recent decease well known icon that is from Yolngu country. Please contact me for I need to know who I can talk to about this.

  2. Janine Paradiso

    is what I want to feel as a person growing up Balanda.
    I am so sick of Balanda on this magnifient country which Balanda are making sick because Balanda are sick.
    Balanda lost Dharaŋanawuy for the land in the big continents up north because babies have been taken from mothers, mothers have been raped and so have homelands for thousands of years up there.
    Balanda culture is unhappy culture without balance of nature.
    I want to learn everything possible from Yolŋu people.
    We are on your country… we are superficial and stupid and you know this place better and you are hurting and not respected but way stronger than Balanda. Balanda mainly pretend to be healthy… but our spirits are from other places which we lost long ago… and only fragments of culture remain. We put most of our energy into making money and destroying and trying to replace nature which is the sickest thing any animal can do. Balanda are really really sick in my experience some very sick and twisted and most Balanda are too stupid to see it. Balanda can be very good too, but most of us have no real culture. We have had many babies we Balanda many babies over thousands of years who were not really welcome and who did not get the love and home and spiritual guidance needed and this is why Balanda are so blind, cruel and sick… and very arrogant and heirachical and having so many specialist splits and complications to try to make up for simple healthier living with knowledge.
    Yolŋu people should be centre stage… on their country proud and leading and I would sit there listening and listening if local Kabi Kabi people of Noosa near where I live ..if they could feel safe and proud and could be bothered and could trust us Balanda to sit and listen to the real locals sit and tell their stories if they wanted to, once a month in a local park for example. .. andall the Balanda and everyone could bring food to share and sit together on the ground and learn from you beautiful people who know more than all Balanda put together. Balanda believe in clocks and cocks ruling the world and this is a sickness. Excuse my rudeness.. but a boys club rules the Balanda world and they cut up time to make dollar notes and make everyone sick working for nonsense stuff. Addiction to shopping, to business and busyness and crazy food and drinking and fast life not noticing or learning anything meaningful about real life. We balanda are making everything sick,because we are really out of touch and connected with too much plastic living.

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  5. Donna

    Thank you for the video clip. I have been reading about the Indugenous peoples’ connection to the land (Country). It appears to be a deep, living spirituality! I’m looking forward to learning more. Thank you for sharing!

  6. Susan Chacroft

    It is done on purpose separating and keeping balanda ignorant from the cradle to the grave, so the government can get on with asset stripping this country. It would be a lot harder if people were educated about the sovereign people of this country. I knew almost nothing about the originals here until I was nearly 40 and moved to Adelaide. Started meeting the Kaurna, Ngarrindjeri, Arabuna, Arenta, Wongi, Bunjalung, who opened my eyes to the genocide the government is carrying out here, pretending to the world it is ‘helping’. Many balanda now see much of the science and technology is destructive to the environment and the people. Many would like to live a life closer to the earth and their friends and family, not waste their lives as slaves to some corporation, constantly stressed out. The indigenous peoples of Earth chose to live in the right way, the balanda did not. You just have to look at the mess we have made to see it’s true. Indigenous peoples thought of the generations to come, to leave the environment in good shape for them so they could have good lives. Religion of the balanda say use everything up, and when we have destroyed it god will give us a new one. We live like spoiled children, destroying every good thing our loving parents give us, then demanding more. It can’t go on. We must admit we got it wrong and go back to what works, hoping there are people who still know and will teach us