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