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Why Warriors Lie Down and Die: Djambatj Mala by Richard Trudgen

$40.00 inc. GST

Why Warriors Lie Down and Die is essential reading for anyone interested in Indigenous peoples. It provides hope and new direction for those searching for the answers as to why “the problems” seems to persist in Aboriginal communities. It also offers insights for those who want a greater understanding of the issues involved in achieving true reconciliation. In Arnhem Land, as in Indigenous communities across Australia, the situation is dire; health is poor, unemployment is rife and life is short. This book provides a fresh analysis of this crisis and offers examples of how the people can once again take control of their own lives. Finding the real cause of this crisis requires the reader to look at it from the other side of the cultural / language divide – the side where the Yolngu people live. The Book Why Warriors Lie Down and Die takes us to that side.

“This fascinating book is about walking together, about understanding, about reconciliation.” – Ray Martin

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Author Richard Trudgen is a communications specialist who has spent more than 20 years consulting with, and working for, the Yolngu, the Aborigines of Australia’s northeast Arnhem Land. His work on behalf of the Aboriginal Resource and Development Services (ARDS) has centered on establishing the conditions for dialogue between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal collectives on critical issues such as health service delivery. The resulting text is vast in scope and rich in detail and its major strengths are the author’s familiarity with the people and the multitude of anecdotes and case studies he draws upon to bolster his argument. Alert to the major changes in community life since the early 1990s, Trudgen sees the problem of Aboriginal disempowerment as growing, not diminishing, in spite of the advent of federal policies (allegedly) promoting Indigenous self-determination. The development agenda in Yolngu communities is still being established by non-traditional means, or worse, by outsiders. The resultant apathy and loss of self-esteem, and the rise in anti-social behaviour, threaten havoc and are reaching alarming proportions.

Published by Why Warriors, 2000. 270 pages, Softback