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  Working for the empowerment of
Yolngu & First Nation people



Yow! Na Mirr! Hello, How are you!

A big hello from us here at Why Warriors.
It’s been a long time since we’ve been in contact – thanks for your patience. We’ve been very busy with new and exciting projects and a lot's changed since we were last in touch.

So....what’s going on? Well the short answer is we’ve been creating important new tools for both Yolŋu and Balanda to help close the gap. Take a look...


A unique new learning website for Yolŋu and Balanda

The website has now arrived!
In 2017 we received funding from the Department of Prime Minister Cabinet to create this much-needed resource that helps Yolŋu get real answers to the hundreds of questions they have about the Australian mainstream world that now controls their lives. And as a bonus it delivers some helpful tools for Balanda working with Yolŋu.

It’s unique, in that it’s in both English and Yolŋu Matha. The subject content is driven by research done by Yolŋu people in their home communities. Then an English first language (Balanda) producer also researches the subject. Following this both the Balanda and Yolŋu producers research the Yolŋu Matha words that will be needed for the program. Sometimes we discover new Yolŋu Matha terms that have never been recorded before in English.
The site also has a learn Hard English Words to help Yolŋu students, parents and business people get access to the meaning of general English words they’re struggling with. So as well as covering vital topics such as health, economics, law and business, so Yolŋu get real answers to their questions, the site also helps Yolŋu learn English. (Did you know that that no full dictionary of English academic and theoretical terms even exists for Yolŋu Matha speakers?)
The website is also a great for mainstream teachers and trainers looking for resources for Yolŋu students of all ages, or medical staff looking to explain health issues to Yolŋu clients who are English second-language. Need a way to effectively explain to a Yolŋu audience about diabetes, the effects of marijuana, or even how tax works? There are videos and podcasts to help and new programs are being added all the time.
Take a look here at

There’s a lot more to tell you and there’ll be an official launch in a few months time. We’ll let you know when it happens and how you can be involved.



We’ve also been busy publishing several practical and in-depth guides to working specifically with Yolŋu communities, as well as working with Aboriginal communities in general.

Basic Parameters of Yolŋu Law and Governance: Though not a large book it actually goes far beyond the basics; it contains a depth of Yolŋu law rarely seen in print anywhere else. Anyone wanting to know about Traditional Aboriginal Law or just get a glimpse of the complex democratic codes of law and practice that have been part of this country for at least 60,000 years, this is the read for you. The Maḏayin system of law is a truly unique and wonderful system that is sadly maligned and misunderstood by many mainstream Australians and the contemporary Australian law system, and is still alive and functioning today.

Cross –cultural Active Listening was written to equip those wanting to work with Yolŋu and other Aboriginal people who live and communicate according to their traditional culture. It’s also designed to help anyone seeking to work and communicate more effectively with people from another culture.

Understanding Yolŋu Names , marriage patterns and family kinship structures can be complicated!
This booklet attempts to demystify things, explaining some of the underlying cultural rules around names (including ‘skin names’) and some of the anomalies that happen due to mainstream Balanda influence.



GET INVOLVED - Hope for Health

Hope for Health are offering a transformational opportunity that allows you to experience deep connection to Indigenous people and culture, whilst also actively helping an individual Yolŋu person by joining you on an educational and practical journey to whole-hearted health. The TOGETHER RETREAT is running from 16 – 28 June. Join us to learn more about the joy and value of journeying together across cultures towards vibrant health.


Featured Article - Dealing with Culture Shock

A lot of people have heard of culture shock , but it can still be difficult to recognise when it happens to you.
Did you know it can be normal to feel irritable, anxious, or deeply sad when you encounter an unfamiliar culture or set of attitudes for a significant amount of time? Sometimes strong feelings arise in response to even the smallest and silliest of things.
It’s a very real psychological phenomenon and the feelings are understandable. It’s just the mind and body’s way of dealing with the loss of control we’re experiencing and an indicator that can help us know what’s going on. And there’s definitely ways to manage the effects.
Read about Tim Trudgen’s experience of culture shock and how he deals with it in Culture Shock 101

Till next time

We’re glad you’re part of the vision to bring change and new possibilities to remote Aboriginal communities. Thanks for following the journey!


Richard Trudgen

Managing Director, Why Warriors