I was sitting in a hospital waiting room to see a specialist and there were a number of Yolŋu present, also waiting to see the same doctor. None of these men and women were over mid-30s. As we sat there talking one of them picked up a magazine and was flipping through the pages when he saw a Yolŋu countrymen who had passed away.
The discussion became very passionate, and a young Yolŋu woman looked straight at me and said, “Wamut, we are all dying.” Wamut is my skin name meaning ‘Wedge-tailed Eagle’.
Her direct expression shocked me in two ways. One, she looked strongly and directly at me which is culturally unusual as Yolŋu do not always give strong direct eye contact. It was like she was stabbing me with the statement.
The second thing that shocked me was the depth of despair and fear in the eyes of my Yolŋu friends. It’s true they were there to see a cardiologist in relation to their heart disease. For most people this would be a frightening situation but with the Yolŋu death rate so high (over 25% of deaths in Arnhem Land are from cardiovascular disease) it was terrifying to have any suggestion that you might be next.
Why Warriors is looking for partners that will provide us with the backing to produce a series of health videos starting with:
- Heart function and blood circulation in the body
- What is a heart attack?
- Rheumatic Heart Disease story
For information and interviews contact Richard Trudgen on 08 89871 664
Or email firstname.lastname@example.org