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  Working for the empowerment of
Yolngu & First Nation people

Petrol Sniffing can be Beaten


Petrol sniffing can be beaten

ABC May 15: “Authorities are warning of an unfolding public health emergency in north-east Arnhem Land, where dozens of young people are recording dangerously high lead levels after sniffing aviation fuel.”

Nearly 10 years out from the 2007 federal government intervention into these Arnhem Land communities we have a problem. When young people seem so depressed that all they want do is get drunk on the cheapest substance they can find, tells us something is very wrong.

These communities needed to be further empowered with knowledge to let them take more control of their own futures instead of that control being taken away from them.

They need education and training in their own language and recognition of their law. They need a fair go to get back into business and international trade that was taken off them by the South Australian government in 1906.

Petrol sniffing has now become a permanent feature across all the major communities of Arnhem Land except one. In the early 1980s I worked with the adults and young people, of that community, to help them find the answers to all the questions they had in relation to why their young people were sniffing. You can read the story about it in Why Warriors Lie Down and Die.

Strange thing you know, sniffing started after families moved into brand-new Western housing in a brand new town. So it is clearly not housing or boredom or many of the other silly excuses that are given to why young people sniffing petrol. They sniff because life is out of control.

Last year I wrote “Petrol Sniffing Can Be Beaten” hoping someone would listen, because I still believe it can be.


Richard Trudgen


Calls from all over Arnhem Land and beyond

The Yolŋu Hope for Health committee and staff are now getting calls from their relatives all over Arnhem Land and beyond for the Hope for Health program to come to their desperate need.

Many had believed that they would never find answers to why they were so sick and dying so young. Like all people they want real health knowledge in a language they can understand. More than that they want programs that work. Now they have Hope for Health, seeing is believing. A grass roots healthy living revolution has started right here in Arnhem Land. They see and hear the great results from their own relatives and they also want in on it.

But the committee is concerned, they know they have to consolidate the program at Galiwin’ku on Elcho Island first. Caught in this tension of wanting to help so many others while finding a way to continue the program and make it grow.

To do this they have built a new website and decided to run a special sponsorship appeal to get long-term support for the Hope for Health project.

Have a look at the New Hope for Health website. Look at the great results made public for the first time. See the 10 different ways you can help this great grassroots people’s program consolidate and grow. Become an active partner, with Yolŋu, from where you live across Australia or the world.

Click on the Read more button to go to the new website.


Bridging the Gap Seminar Nhulunbuy

This might be our only public Seminar for this year. It is designed for both Balanda and Yolŋu who are interested in understanding each other better. However if you are interested in attending from across the country you will find it relevant for your situation also.

Become aware of hidden cross-cultural traps.
Receive useful hard to come by information.
Learn new dynamic communication skills.
Discover what makes humans different.
Get answers to many questions.
Be entertained.

This seminar has grown out of 40 years of finding answers between Yolŋu & Balanda working together at the coal face. Designed to help build long term cross-cultural relationships in the workplace and the community. Join us for this unique learning experience where you can be part of the solution.


Why Warriors New Charitable Organisation.

For a number of years now we have been working on setting up a non-profit organisation to run the non-profit projects like AHED & Hope for Health. It is called Why Warriors Org Ltd. Tim Trudgen is the CEO of this organisation. I have remained on as managing director of Why Warriors Pty Ltd.

This is great for our non-profit charity projects as Why Warriors Org Ltd has full charitable status.

All of our Yolŋu and Balanda staff working on the Hope for Health project are now employed by that organisation. These great staff support the Yolŋu steering committee and the participants on the ground, consolidating the life changing results the people are getting.


Highest Rheumatic Heart Disease in the World

We are still looking for supporters who can help us turn life saving health information, structured on the people's language and worldview, into dynamic easy to access videos.

East Arnhem Land has the highest rates of Rheumatic Heart Disease (RHD) in the world. The story board below is for RHD. I have used it many times to explain the deep biomedical RHD story to Yolŋu patients and it really works. I am convinced that this story board made into a video would make a massive difference, giving thousands of Yolŋu people real life saving knowledge, around RHD, in their own language and cultural way.

If you know of someone who might be interested in partnering with us in this great venture, or if you want to make it your project to raise the money needed to develop the video please get in touch.

Health Workers, Nurses and Doctors will be able to use these videos directly with their patients, Yolŋu families who are affected will also have access to them.

Contact us now, together we can make a real difference. Please click "Read More" link below.


Run a community development project from where you live!

Still looking for self-funded retired professionals with a passion for the Yolngu people of north-east Arnhem Land, to help manage essential programs remotely.


My second newsletter. Still having some trouble with some buttons. The non English writing below I can not get rid of and a number of other things. Please forgive me for them.

Will be busy in the next month, looks like we have some money to try and do something on the lead poisoning, petrol sniffing issue. Will let you know how it turns out.


Richard Trudgen

Managing Director, Why Warriors