Ŋurruṉinygu Dhukarr enriches Yolŋu people
The Ŋurruṉinygu Dhukarr Program is developing Yolŋu parental and leadership skills in Galiwin’ku.
The Families as First Teachers project links 15 to 19-year-old people with local agencies and initiatives, such as Yalu Indigenous Corporation, Miwati Health Aboriginal Corporation, Galiwin’ku Women’s Space, Centrelink, Baby Hub and the Learning on Country program.
The Shepherdson College-based scheme — comprising eight workshops a year delivered by Yolŋu elders and service providers — includes financial literacy, Raypirri, the children’s wellbeing program, nutrition, birth, caring for children, and traditional values in modern society.
Principal of the Elcho Island college, Joe Hewett, said the forums are run during the year to “enhance parenting skills and cultural knowledge”.
“This new program is a response to community feedback about the need for strong pathways for students and young people,” he said.
“The workshops — celebrating Yolŋu knowledge and leadership in Galiwin’ku — typically attract 50 to 70 attendees.
“There has been great collaboration between services, an increased sense of responsibility in students, and some good discussions about the challenges of being a Yolŋu leader and parent today.”
Shepherdson College’s senior cultural advisor, Daisy Gondarra, said education is “crucial in evaluating life roles and cultural identity”.
“These workshops are giving our young people a broader understanding of their opportunities and responsibilities as leaders, as parents, and as Galiwin’ku community members,” she said.
“Education is everything. It helps us discover the path for Western education to be meaningful to Yolngu.”