Staff News June 2015


We are sorry to say that AHED Project Facilitators Jazlie and Ben Grygoruk will be leaving us at the end of June. After 5 years in Arnhem Land and with a second child coming, they now feel the need for family support and some time back in their own culture.

Both Jazz and Ben first came to Arnhem Land as pilots working for MAF (Mission Aviation Fellowship). The Yolŋu women and other Yolŋu workers at Yalu benefited greatly from Ben’s dedication and gentle working through of many issues. Jazlie worked in admin support for the AHED program and will be missed in the critical role she played here. Both Jazz and Ben also worked hard at learning the language and the many cultural competency skills needed to work with Yolŋu people in a very productive way.

James Thomson has been working with Why Warriors since last year as a Communications Strategist, analysing our whole media approach and helping us to build a stronger presence for our programs with a much wider audience. Already one of the results is that our national, and
international, engagement on twitter has never been stronger:

We are pleased to welcome on board Shelley Houghton, a previous colleague of Richard Trudgen from Aboriginal Resource and Development Service (ARDS). Shelley is a qualified accountant, speaks Yolŋu Matha and has worked with the people of Galiwin’ku on a number of projects over the last 30 years. Shelley will be a great asset to the team as we continue to support current AHED projects in developing enterprises with Yolŋu people.

Also supporting the Hope for Health team is Sinem Saban from Our Generation Media, focusing on Communications and Fundraising. Sinem studied Media, Aboriginal and Legal Studies at RMIT and Latrobe Universities in Melbourne and has taught at schools is Yirrkala, Maningrida and Galiwin’ku communities. She is an accomplished filmmaker, having co-wrote, produced and directed the landmark documentary on Aboriginal rights ‘Our Generation’, and has helped to kickstart successful social justice campaigns such as Stand For Freedom and Culture Is Life.

About Richard Trudgen

Born in Orange NSW and trained as a fitter and turner, Richard went to Arnhem Land in 1973 for one year voluntary work. He stayed 37 years, learnt language and trained in community development work. He wrote “Why Warriors Lie Down and Die” in 2000 and established Yolŋu Radio in 2003. He was CEO of Aboriginal Resource and Development Services (ARDS) Inc for 10 years, and during this time developed discovery education methodology. He runs ‘Bridging the Gap’ seminars and training workshops, and speaks at conferences and events. Richard wants to build an e-learning school for Yolŋu people using both their own language and English so Yolŋu children/adults have an easily accessible schooling system that works for them. He is currently writing his next book “When a New World Drops in on You”.