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  Working for the empowerment of
Yolngu & First Nation people

Prioritising Aboriginal Voices


New COVID-19 Material: Made by Yolŋu for Yolŋu

Recently while doing COVID-19 education Yolngu Nations Assembly found many Yolŋu people did not understand the word Pandemic. This is despite there being a ‘pandemic clinic’ on their community. Other words that turned out to be confusing or unknown were the English words ‘lock down’ and ‘second wave’.

It was a great reminder that if you work with remote Indigenous people who are English-second language not to assume they understand subjects (especially medical ones!) from a Western point of view, or understand the English words associated with it.

In the last couple of months we’ve made 7 new videos and 4 new podcasts that explain issues surrounding the Coronavirus. We’ve covered topics including looking at germ theory, and explaining what ‘second wave’, ‘pandemic’ and ‘lockdown’ mean.

We also explore the idea of social distancing. Did you know that traditional Aboriginal culture has social distancing laws? And for exactly the same reasons that they're currently being used. It exists under Madayin law and is an intricate concept called goŋ-wukundi .

All these videos and podcasts address the questions that Yolŋu co-producers research from their own communities. They're delivered in Yolŋu Matha using a dialogue format. Designed by Yolŋu for Yolŋu, the programs help people understand what’s happening so they and their families can stay safe. If you want to access all these new resources, plus plenty of older ones, here’s how.....


From Katherine to Sweden

Why Warriors podcasts and videos have been attracting local, national and international interest lately.

The Katherine Times shared our recently launched Question and Answer Series on the myths and misconceptions about Aboriginal culture.

ABC Radio did a program and interview with Richard Trudgen featuring what Yolŋu want to know about COVID-19.

And Swedish Radio featured Why Warriors work on their channel Sameradion which is a channel for the Indigenous peoples of Sweden. Sameradion broadcasts in the Sámi languages spoken by approx 20,000 people in the northern parts of Norway, Sweden and Finland.

What do the Indigenous peoples of Sweden and Australia have in common? This blog provides a bit of an overview on the issues the Sámi face with blending traditional and modern ways, language, and cultural identity. Another example of what happens when different cultures collide.


3 different ways to use COVID-19 resources

There are 3 different ways you can use the podcasts and videos, both online and offline, and also with English subtitles.

This is our dedicated educational website. There are 7 podcasts and over 15 videoes on Coronavirus alone, with more being added all the time. You can find them all here....
Djambatjmarram COVID-19 Information

Have a look at our full YouTube playlist for both podcasts and videos. It's particularly good if you want English subtitles. These are really helpful for trainers and medical staff so you can listen together with Yolŋu and have an informed conversation. All videos and audio can be found at .......
YOUTUBE COVID-19 Information (with subtitles)

Need to take the info offline to share where there is no internet? On SoundCloud you can download the information. Audio programs only. Listen here....
Soundcloud COVID-19 Information

If you'd like full copies of the English transcripts of the programs please email


Aboriginal voices need to be heard

Yingiya Guyula is the current Member for Nhulunbuy (soon to be named Mulka) and is running for re election in the Northern Territory Election in August 2020. Ian Gumbula will run for the electorate of Arnhem.

As Independent candidates they have very little financial backing and require the support of those who want to see Independent Aboriginal voices in the Parliament. Please support Yingiya Guyula and Ian Gumbula's campaign and checkout their Chuffed Campaign Fundraiser .


Dr. Kerry Mills joins the team

This year has been a busy one, with much of Why Warriors time spent producing educational material in Yolŋu Matha about COVID-19. During this time we’ve been very grateful for the assistance of Dr Kerry Mills, an expert in microbiology and comparative efficacy research, who has volunteered her time to help explain this virus in the most accurate way possible.

Kerry has a Bachelor of Science (Honours) from the ANU and a PhD in molecular parasitology from the University of Melbourne. She did her Honours work researching HIV at the John Curtin School of Medical Research in Canberra and then went on to do her PhD at the prestigious Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne. Kerry then moved to Heidelberg, Germany, where she undertook postdoctoral research on the Hepatitis B virus.

Kerry now runs a scientific consultancy company and is also an adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Canberra, where she continues to do research.
Big thanks to Kerry for coming on board at this crucial time.

Volunteering - How can I help?


You don't need to have a PhD to be a volunteer. There are many ways you can be part of practical reconciliation and contribute to issues you care strongly about.

We are currently looking for someone with a bit of spare time each week to maintain our once-thriving Twitter account. It needs a little love. Anyone?

Also on the look-out for someone to take on a short project updating our media database. Basic computer skills and a couple of spare hours a week are all that’s needed.

Please contact if you’re interested in helping out.


Important Message

Our team stands with our Black, Indigenous and People of Colour colleagues, friends and loved ones. At this time we re-double our commitment to racial justice. We stand with people whose lives are most directly impacted by brutality, incarceration and other manifestations of racial injustice. We are particularly committed to addressing the structural violence and trauma that is inflicted daily on Australian Indigenous people due to lack of acknowledgement of the vital role of Language, Culture and Traditional Law.


Richard Trudgen

Managing Director, Why Warriors