Heart Attack Story and other Essential Information Needed

Yolngu (Aboriginal) people in north-east Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory have the highest rates of chronic disease in the world. The people are dying of Heart Attacks because they do not know what they are. So we have released this first Draft, internally-funded video in their language to try and do something about it.



For over 20 years now Why Warriors has advocated training for mainstream staff so they can explain a range of diseases to Yolŋu people. Unfortunately, medical staff turnover in many Yolngu communities is so fast that most medicos don’t even learn to say hello and goodbye in the local language. They get burnt out because there are no language resources to help them.

So there is no chance of them learning the deep biomedical language that is needed to explain diseases like diabetes and rheumatic heart disease which is mainly caused by scabies.

Why Warriors Pty Ltd already has the most extensive health information resource base online for Yolngu people on our Yolngu Learning Centre and wants to produce more life-saving videos for Yolngu people.

Yolŋu people’s understanding of medical English and concepts is extremely limited, so Yolŋu people, even Health Workers, are left without the critical knowledge they need to take control of their own health and lives.

The Why Warriors bilingual, bicultural team has spent decades collaborating with health professionals and Yolŋu researchers to explain health issues in the local Yolŋu Matha language. The traditional worldview of Yolŋu means they want in-depth, science-based information in order to understand any new topic. What Yolŋu call the “dhuḏi-dhäwu” – the evidential information.

Our aim is to produce a series of health videos in Yolŋu Matha with English captions. These resources will be made available to medical staff who are working to explain different health conditions to Yolŋu patients and their families.

The first series we would produce includes:

  1. What is a heart attack? (inc. Heart function and blood circulation in the body. Please see the first draft of that video above)
  2. Rheumatic Heart Disease story (14 years research for this video already done. I Just need the money to produce it.)

Please donate even a small amount to help us do this work.

Or become a partner to help support and fund the production of the health videos that will save the lives of thousands of Yolŋu people.

These resources will deliver vital missing information to health workers, families, parents and young sufferers of these conditions while giving medicos a resource injection that they can use on the first day to help them deal with the massive health load they face in Yolngu communities.

Yolngu will be able to understand for the first time how their body works and how these diseases affect them. This will enable them to become compliant with medical support and manage healthier lives.

As one Yolŋu grandmother said to Richard, “We have had no more of our family die of heart attack since you taught us about heart disease. Our family now have regular check-ups because we now know what heart disease is.”

Now we need to use modern media to get the same information to thousands.

For more information please contact Richard Trudgen (Community Educator): richard@whywarriors.com.au, +61 400 880 954