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. He’s now been working with Yolŋu people for over 40 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 facilitates ‘Bridging the Gap’ seminars, and delivers corporate training. He is currently the CEO of Why Warriors Pty Ltd, a community development organisation that empowers Yolŋu and other First Nations people by providing access to information, and builds understanding between Indigenous peoples and the Dominant Culture. In 2015 he was a finalist for the NT Senior Australian of the Year Award.


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  3. 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!

  4. 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