We have a dynamic, talented and dedicated team working across our cross-cultural facilitation, language and multimedia work as well as ensuring quality programming and broadcast of Yolŋu Radio. Our Nhulunbuy and Darwin office provide invaluable support.
Ben Grimes is a lawyer and linguist who specialises in communication issues in the legal system and cross-cultural legal education.
Ben has developed a strong reputation in the NT legal profession and has worked collaboratively across sectors on significant projects. Ben is regularly an invited speaker at conferences, and frequently delivers training and consultancy to judges and legal organisations to assist in removing barriers to justice caused by language and communication.
As a criminal lawyer and community legal educator, Ben developed particular expertise working with Law and Justice groups in remote communities, circle sentencing, and integrating cultural authority into court processes.
2021 sees Ben take on a new role as the Chief Executive Officer of ARDS.
Previously Ben has worked as a senior manager with the Aboriginal Interpreter Service, managing 45 full time staff and 350 casual staff across 9 offices in the NT. Ben developed the court duty interpreting system used across the NT, and was a major contributor to protocols such as the NT Supreme Court Interpreter Protocols and the Law Society NT Indigenous Protocols for Lawyers (2nd ed).
As a lecturer in law at Charles Darwin University, Ben developed the Indigenous Pre-law and Mentoring Program, which has led to a noticeable increase in the number of Indigenous law students. Ben also teaches units including Criminal Law, Indigenous Peoples and the Law, Customary Law and Comparative Law.
I have been always interested in the different cultural heritages of the World. I was born in Europe and was studying philosophy, anthropology and religion, while also developing educational websites about Australian Aboriginal Culture. The Yolŋu languages, history, music and arts have been my passion for many years, especially the yiḏaki, that brought me to Australia. I am doing my diploma in Yolŋu Studies at CDU.
It is a privilege to be with ARDS, the greatest opportunity for me to work together with the experienced team and the Indigenous people of this unique Land.
Jean is from Birritjimi, and works as a presenter with the Burwu Show, encouraging and supporting a lot of the behind the scenes work. Jean particularly enjoys recording stories from the homelands and presenting for outside broadcasts.
It is a deep privilege to work closely with Aboriginal peoples, in a role that sees their worldviews and knowledge as being crucial to more effective conversations about the things that impact their lives.
I’m interested in the challenge of communicating between cultures and what it reveals about our assumptions and understanding of the world. I think we all have a lot to learn about ourselves and about others from thoughtful and respectful engagement with other languages and ideas. I’m excited to be able to work on projects that aim to put that into practice.
I have worked as a commercial lawyer in Melbourne and a criminal lawyer in Darwin and East Arnhem Land, especially working with Yolŋu and Warnindilyakwa people. I have also studied linguistics and I want to keep learning about Aboriginal languages and how language is used in the Australian legal system.
I am excited about working alongside Indigenous language workers and other energetic staff members. My ARDS colleagues have skills and knowledge in the Yolŋu and Balanda worlds, and I have plenty to learn from our team and from others in this field! The language component of all ARDS projects is vital, and I enjoy strengthening our work with Indigenous language’s.
Joy Bulkanhawuy is senior Djambarrpuyŋu person and a highly-skilled and experienced cross-cultural facilitator and educator.
Bulkanhawuy has worked with ARDS for many years, supporting two-way learning and cross-cultural communication, particularly in the area of health. Bulkanhawuy most recently co-wrote and co-produced Dhukarr Muḻkurrgu Gunŋga'yunaraw (Pathways in Mental Health) – an educational DVD that supports learning and development within the Indigenous mental health sector.
Lisa has been with ARDS over 15 years in a variety of roles, including coordinating aged care and family services programs, finance and administration, and multimedia/radio support. In her current role, Lisa supports the team in the areas of IT coordination, resources and radio. A Jawoyn and Gulumirrgin (Larrakia) woman, Lisa is proud to work for an Indigenous led organisation that strives to work in the most culturally appropriate way to achieve outcomes for the communities it represents. Lisa has personal interests in information management, and researching and documenting Indigenous family histories.
Growing up in Bendigo, Nic took a keen interest in football and, after a decade as a professional musician in Melbourne, he moved to the Territory in 2014 to be the AFLNT’s Remote Development Manager, firstly in Galiwin’ku and then Yirrkala.
At Galiwin’ku, Nick helped grow the Galiwin’ku Football League, including increasing the men’s league to twelve teams, and helping start the women’s and the junior league. For a community of 2200 people, this gave the Galiwin’ku Football League one of the biggest participation rates in the country.
Nick also found the time to host the Yolŋu Radio Footy Show and commentate on the match of the week in the Gove AFL, which led to a move to Darwin to produce and host a sports show on local station MIX 104FM and commentate on Channel 7’s Northern Territory Football League coverage. He also co-hosts the popular “Holmes and Away” podcast with former AFLW star and TV host Abbey Holmes.
Now, he’s back in northeast Arnhem Land, working with Yolŋu Radio and closely following the Gove AFL, looking to discover the next AFL and AFLW stars.
Sylvia works in the multimedia department at ARDS. Her 2015 ARDS production, Bulunu Milkarri won ‘Best Language Film’ at ImagineNATIVE Film Festival in Canada. Sylvia speaks and reads Djambarrpuyŋu and is a confident studio operator. She also presents a weekly Dhawu-dhawu program in Yolŋu language which won the 2016 Best New Radio Talk Show at the Community Broadcasting Assoc, of Australia (CBAA) Awards in Melbourne.
We are wanting to find ways of sharing language, to keep our languages strong. Yolŋu language is not the only language that has these needs, we are part of something bigger in strengthening other languages too. Our languages are the first languages of this nation, all around Australia
Napurr ga djälthirr ARDS djämamirr mala ŋayi dhu ga ḏäl ŋorra dhukarr marŋgikunharaw dhärukku mala. Yaka yan Yolŋu Matha, wiripu wiripu Dhäruk mala, napurr dhu ḏälkum. Dhäruktja napurruŋ dhuwal ŋurruŋu dhiyal makarr-yindiŋur wäŋaŋur Australia-ŋur buku-ḻiw’maram
Yolande moved to Darwin in the November of 2017 from Melbourne after she fell in love with the NT when she came to do a tour of Kakadu earlier in that year. Yolande started to work with the accounting firm Nexia Edwards Marshall NT as a Senior Bookkeeper in their Business Services team and ARDS was one of her Major clients whilst in that role.
In the time that Yolande has been in Darwin, she has expanded her performing portfolio through singing with the Darwin Chorale as well as some solo work and she has also taken acting back up with Darwin Theatre Company.
In 2020 Yolande was seconded to ARDS on a full time basis to help assist with the needs of ARDS as it transitioned through a change of management, she was seconded as the interim General Manager whilst we searched for our permanent CEO. Yolande was then offered the role of Corporate Services Manager in July of 2020 and has been an integral part of the changes seen in ARDS.
Sarah has a particular flair for assessing her clients’ business needs and providing recommendations that maximise opportunities for them.
In some cases, she actually manages the client’s finance department – a unique and quite privileged position because it requires a deep understanding of the business and its culture.
She has worked across multiple accounting software platforms, including clients’ customised software. She also understands governance practices and has been involved in the appointment of board members to a number of non-profit organisations.
Donna is a highly experienced bookkeeper who has a long history working in the finance and accounting industry. Donna enjoys the busy nature of the business and is someone who is always keen to learn and take on new challenges.