Future Dreaming Conference: Session 1

The AHED Project (the not for profit arm of Why Warriors) held its first conference on 24th May 2014 in Melbourne in collaboration with Manna Gum, TEAR Australia, Surrender, Essendon Baptist Church and Tabor College, titled: Future Dreaming: Purpose, Passion & Power in Remote Indigenous Communities

Videos of the main plenary sessions are now available for viewing:

Session 1: Joanne Garnggulkpuy (Managing Director, Yalu Marnggithinyaraw) and Gwenda Baker (Monash University)

Title: The history of economic activity of the Yolngu people in Arnhem Land – then and now.

About the presenters:

Joanne Garnggulkpuy is an experienced teacher, Wangurri elder and social researcher. A co-founder and now Managing Director of the Yalu’ Marnggithinyaraw Research Centre at Galiwin’ku, she has guided and mentored many research projects, helped develop the Yothu Yindi school curriculum, has been involved in Menzies School of Health research and has been Secretary and Chair of the Council for Aboriginal Alcohol Program Services, NT. Garnggulkpuy is currently Manager of Yalu which is working on the Stronger Communities for Children Program with the Red Cross; and a Cultural Mentor Program.  The Yalu IPS Program is teaching young children and families about kinship systems and Yolngu culture.

Dr. Gwenda Baker is a Professional Historian with a long relationship with the people at Galiwin’ku. In 2010-2011 she was a co-researcher with Joanne Garnggulkpuy on a project recording Yolngu stories about life on Elcho Island during the time of the Methodist Mission. She has written on the intersections between Aboriginal religious beliefs and Christianity; the re-interpretation of missionary activity by Aboriginal leaders; Aboriginal women and their spiritual, social and political leadership; and the fight for Land Rights. Gwenda is currently the Australian Religious History Fellow at the State Library at New South Wales and Adjunct Research Fellow at the Monash Indigenous Centre.

Please click here to view the other conference sessions:

Session 2: Tim Trudgen (AHED Project team leader and Director of Why Warriors)
Title: How did we get here? The social, political and economic story of Arnhem Land and hopeful ways forward.

Session 3: Jonathan Cornford (co-founder, Manna Gum)
Title: The Road to Restoration: So many attempts at ‘helping’ Indigenous communities have proved counter-productive. What does the Bible tell us about what healing and restoration requires of Indigenous communities and those who would walk with them?



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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  1. Future Dreaming Conference: Session 3

    […] Session 1: Joanne Garnggulkpuy (Managing Director, Yalu Marnggithinyaraw) and Gwenda Baker (Monash U… Title: The history of economic development in Arnhem Land – then and now. […]

  2. Future Dreaming Conference: Session 2

    […] Session 1: Joanne Garnggulkpuy (Managing Director, Yalu Marnggithinyaraw) and Gwenda Baker (Monash U… Title: The history of economic development in Arnhem Land – then and now. […]