Why Warriors Lie Down and Die


This book is for anyone who wants to understand what it’s like for Aboriginal people on the other side of the cultural divide. It is a great hands-on cross-cultural workshop that has taught many people so much about this very challenging space and how to survive in it.

For a paperback copy, click Add to Cart above.


Ebook versions are also now available here.

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For Kobo and Other devices (Adobe Epub): Booktopia AustraliaKobo International


A Subject Index for the book is also available here.

For larger purchases and bookshops, please contact us at 1300 501 795 or email wwaccounts@warriors.net.au

If you loved this book, you will also love our Cultural Courses.

Purchasing this book or our Cultural Courses supports our life-changing work with the Yolngu people in north-east Arnhemland.



“Thank you for writing it. You have answered so many questions I have carried all my life”. Young First Nations AFL player

“I read it at 16 years of age and realised for the first time I could go on to do anything. You made me feel proud of my own people as an Aboriginal person, despite all the challenges we face”. Young Brisbane professional women

“Thank you so much for writing this book. Now we know why our old people lost the battle for our country back then”. American Indian 

“Why Warriors Lie Down and Die gave me a very good overview of the challenges ahead, an understanding of the history, and an idea of what to expect from my Yolngu patients. I recommend the book to every new Doctor that comes to work for us….”  Dr. Marco Briceno Director of Medical Services, Gove District Hospital

Situation is dire

The situation remains dire in Arnhem Land, as in many Aboriginal communities across Australia. Their health is poor, and they die early in life. Training, schooling, and employment outcomes are dismal, and incarceration rates are the highest in the world. After nearly twenty years of “Closing the Gap” and billions of government money spent, little has changed. For Yolngu, the situation has got worse. This is due to a poor understanding of cross-cultural cross-language issues, which this book deals with. We need to get more people to read it so real change can occur.

A different understanding of the crisis

This book offers a very different understanding of this crisis, told from the people’s own experiences. It will take the reader to another side of life in Australia. A side that most policymakers and program managers know little about.

Real insights

It offers dynamic insights; where applied, real changes can occur. Examples of how they, as a people, can once again take control of their own lives if enough mainstream people can understand the real underlying issue. However, governments and large non-Aboriginal and even Aboriginal organisations seem to have trouble applying the bicultural and bilingual strategies and programs that are needed to give the people a real chance to survive. So it is down to individuals to demand that the solution expressed in this book get applied universally so that Indigenous people everywhere have a chance at a better life.

Powerful storytelling

Why Warriors Lie Down and Die uses a blend of critical and exploratory thinking about the inter-cultural space, a deep understanding of Yolngu culture, personal experience and powerful story-telling.

Should be read by everybody

Many tell us, “Everyone should read this book,” and it has become the essential handbook for people working in cross-cultural environments with First Nation peoples and other minority cultural groups. It continues to be used by universities through to regular people across Australia and internationally.

Why Warriors Lie Down and Die, by Richard Trudgen in 2000, has sold over 42,000 copies and been read by many thousands more. Yet it is almost as if it were written just yesterday, as the issues this book reveals about the real-life human-dynamics continue to persist and destroy attempts by Yolngu and others like them to get a fair go in marginalised  Indigenous communities.