Cultural Awareness

Madayin Law System; The Assent law of the Yolŋu of Arnhem Land
  This is the paper from Dr Djiniyini Gondarra’s presentation to the The Law and Justice within Indigenous Communities conference in Darwin, NT, Feb 2011.The Assent law of the first people:   The Assent law of the first people: Principles…
Effective communication – not intervention, the key to Closing the Gap
Media Release:   Tuesday  28/06/11 The Only Intervention Needed “The only intervention needed in the Northern Territory is an intervention in communication” Richard Trudgen, author of Why Warriors Lie Down and Die, responds to the news that the Gillard Government…
Galiwin’ku Women Speak Up to the UN for Recognition of Yolŋu Law
Earlier this year, Navi Pillay, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights came to Australia on her first official visit to discuss rights issues with the Government, the Australian Human Rights Commission, as well as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities…
Economics of Remote Aboriginal Communities – Part 1 History
There has been much discussion lately about economic development, ever since the Howard Government turned its attention to the capitalist potential of Indigenous communities and Aboriginal lands. As a result, policy and funding affecting Indigenous peoples have had a decided…
For some of you, the term “homeland”, may not make sense. We would like to offer some explanation, as homelands are so vital to empowering Yolngu across Arnhem Land, and where ever people live on Aboriginal lands.
Dhurili Nation Challenges Mining Lease Agreement in Court
Dhurili Nation considers court action as Prime Minister celebrates historic agreement in Gove Peninsula, NT. The Dhurili Nation, comprising the Datiwuy, Golumala, Marrakulu and Marrangu clans have previously confirmed to the Northern Land Council and the Minister for Indigenous Affairs…
Our hidden biases. Test your unconscious racial associations.
I have mentioned to some people that there is a test online that allows us to test our unconscious racial associations or prejudices.  It is called an Implicit Association Test and it can be found at All of us…
Dirty Assumptions
I was recently told a story about a black African visitor to an Australian Indigenous community. This man went to visit an important Elder in the community... This is a story about sitting in the dirt, about the 'cultural glasses' that we wear and the assumptions we can make.
Learning the Indigenous Languages of NE Arnhem Land, The Northern Territory
We sometimes get the question from people interested in working with people from North East Arnhem Land; 'Do you know of any good external language courses that are available?' There are a couple of options to begin learning Yolŋu Matha, the language of north east Arnhem Land.
The Blame Game.
It is the easiest thing to lay blame. It is also very easy to assume that you are being blamed by someone else. Recently, I have become more aware of the way groups all working to help Indigenous people fight against each other, laying blame or putting up walls. The clash of cultures that occurs within and among organisations working with Indigenous can result in what I call the 'blame game'. A dynamic that brings added stress and disfunction to the whole system. The blame game is notable both between dominant culture workers and Indigneous people, as well as between different Indigneous groups.
An Indigenous voice – How is Yolngu law separate from the Governments Law
Here is a YouTube video that is worth watching because it contains the genuine voice of an Indigenous a significant person from one the remote communities most effected by recent Government polices. She speaks of why she sees her people's Law and the Mainstream Law of Australia of the 'Balanda' (the Europeans/non-indigenous) as separate from each other.
An example of disempowerment- Why dont you talk to us first?
The Elder speaking was quite irate about decisions that had been made by Goverment and organisations that had not been discussed with local leaders. "Why don't you Balanda explain to us what are your plans?... You don't talk to us... You just change things." ...