The first 4 Covid 19 Videos in Yolngu Matha

1. Introduction to coronavirus

In this program, Richard Trudgen and Nikunu Yunupingu discuss coronavirus. Yolŋu hear the virus is coming to their communities but they’re not sure what it’s about. These programs will share information about the Coronavirus as it’s updated, including its spread and how to manage it. This podcast starts with the history and transmission of the virus.


2. How to stop it spreading

In this program, we introduce the names: coronavirus and COVID-19. Nikunu Yunupingu asks if this is a lifelong sickness (this is one of the points of confusion that many Yolŋu have). We explain that it’s only a short sickness, of about two weeks. Throughout this time people might be infectious even if they only get a mild sickness. If they’re not sure they should self-isolate for two weeks and it’s explained this becomes necessary as a strategy to stop the virus moving through communities.


3. Our Body Helper

In this program, the question is asked, “what happens after 2 weeks?” Richard Trudgen shares information about the immune system and white blood cells. This information is built on the Yolŋu worldview around their zoological knowledge. This is necessary so that people can see clearly how the immune system works and also how immunisation works.

4. What is Immunisation?

In this program we make it clear that there is no immunisation for coronavirus yet, and it could take two years for it to be produced and available. However, doctors might ask people in community to have the standard flu injection so their body is not fighting this season’s flu and the coronavirus at the same time.

Click here for our full COVID-19 playlist.


Other education programs in Yolŋu Matha are available on the Why Warriors YouTube channel or via the Yolŋu Matha learning platform,
These COVID-19 resources are produced by Nikunu Yunupingu and Richard Trudgen.
Thank-you to © Helix Animation 2020 for the animations provided. All rights reserved.
Medical images in videos taken from the book, Human Body, published by © Time Life Inc. 1992.

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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