Team

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.


Our Leadership

Johanna Ward

Johanna Ward

Johanna has worked in a range of roles within the context of Indigenous community development. Prior to commencing with ARDS as CEO, she worked with BHP Iron Ore and was responsible for supporting the Indigenous Employment strategy, including the design and implementation of the Indigenous mentoring program and other organisational capacity building programs.

Previously, she worked in a range of roles in Arnhem Land including community and government leadership roles.

Nhulunbuy Team

Gaia Osborne

Gaia Osborne

Gaia is the radio manager and oversees staff and operations in Nhulunbuy, based at Gayŋuru Studios. Her passion for creative community development and media drives her through building the capacity of the team for excellent outcomes in the delivery of Yolŋu Radio, event and music production services and other projects that contribute to the aims and objectives of ARDS.

“I strongly believe in the power of creative arts and community media to affect positive change in communities. Combine that with the ARDS methodology of working with people through language, culture and worldview and incredible things happen”.

Paul (Ahva) Hayes

Paul (Ahva) Hayes

Ahva has helped create a focus on the local music and performance industry, including recording, sales and live performance and event production.

I just love Yolŋu culture and music and working together with our team to create fulfilling projects!
Daniel Balawurr Hick

Daniel Balawurr Hick

Daniel has been training on the job with Yolŋu Radio Rirrakay Mala as a lighting technician and sound engineer. He has also been working as a studio assistant at Gayŋuru Studios, working on a number of ARDS projects and radio programs.

Shane Mäwul Dhamarrandji

Shane Mäwul Dhamarrandji

Shane is an up and coming sound engineer from Milingimbi, excelling in both the studio and live situations. He has operated the stage mix at Garma 2015 and 2016, and has assisted on a number of recordings at Gayŋuru Studios. Mäwul is also a Yolŋu Radio presenter, hosting multiple outside broadcasts as well as producing his own show Dhapirrk Rirrakay with Mäwul Dhamarrandji.

Keisha Gurruwiwi

Keisha Gurruwiwi

Keisha is from Dhalinbuy and has a great talent for all things audio-visual. Keisha works on both radio and film projects as a sound recordist and camera operator, and is a presenter on Burwu Show.

Andrew Gurruwiwi

Andrew Gurruwiwi

Andrew plays a vital role at Yolŋu Radio as senior presenter and producer. He produces and presents two shows weekly, the Andrew Gurruwiwi Show and Manymak Ŋaliŋu Dhäwu, as well as doing a lot of behind the scenes work for Burwu Show. He is also an award winning songwriter and renowned musician, bringing all his many talents and charms to his radio work.

Roberta Dhurrkay

Roberta Dhurrkay

Roberta presents and produces for Burwu Show; she has also works as a sound recordist and camera operator for film projects.

Jean Gurruwiwi

Jean Gurruwiwi

Jean is from Birritjimi, and works as a presenter with 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.

Larry Gurruwiwi

Larry Gurruwiwi

Larry has been leading trips to homelands schools, getting radio stories and running music workshops with the kids. At Gayŋuru studio's, Larry does session work as a keyboardist, singer and songwriter. He has been involved with, the Gälpu Manikay album for the Buliaŋu Songline, Bärra West Wind's Gawurr Yothu Yindi Gospel album, as well as song writing on the Djamakuli Album.

Andrew Grimes

Andrew Grimes

Andrew works as the Producer for Yolŋu Radio. Based in Yirrkala, he has been encouraging and building the radio team, developing new radio shows and supporting studio activities at Gayŋuru in Nhulunbuy.

Ramingining Team

Jamie Mapleson

Jamie Mapleson

Jamie’s work includes cross-cultural facilitation, education, professional development and mentoring within and outside the organisation.

I’m passionate about the work of ARDS because we’re working to redress the frequent miscommunication and misunderstanding and subsequent disempowerment of Aboriginal people in remote areas.

Winnellie Team

Emma Murphy

Emma Murphy

Emma has worked with and communities across Australia for since 1998, particularly Aṉangu in Central Australia and Yolŋu in Arnhem Land. With ARDS, she works on a variety of projects in the areas of health education and language. Emma brings to the team experience in training Aboriginal people in the skills they need to revive, maintain and teach their own languages.

“Working alongside Aboriginal people, learning from them, putting a strong commitment to self-determination into practice, has been a major theme through my working life. ARDS’ commitment to telling Yolŋu stories and building bridges of meaning between different languages and cultures makes it a wonderfully challenging and diverse place to work and learn.”

Andrew Pascoe

Andrew Pascoe

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.
Dave Suttle

Dave Suttle

Dave has been visiting, living and working in a variety of North East Arnhem Land communities since he was 20 years old learning from Yolŋu about culture and language since 2006.

I’m driven by a passion for removing the barriers that perpetuate inequality and I’m excited to be part of building cross-cultural understandings that contribute towards self-determination.
​Vince Mithen

​Vince Mithen

Vince’s role with ARDS involves both strengthening the corporation’s governance and facilitating special projects that sit outside ARDS other department areas.

His work with ARDS board of directors and CEO involves maintaining ARDS compliance with regulatory bodies as well as improving internal governance and operational processes and procedures.

It is a challenging role that I am continuing to grow into and one that I greatly enjoy.
Eileen O’Connor

Eileen O’Connor

Eileen's role includes scheduling the radio content, dealing with sponsorship clients and assuring that everything that needs to go to air, does.

Working with ARDS has given me an appreciation and understanding in part, of the cultural differences between Yolŋu and Balanda, as well the similarities. I count it a privilege to be part of this organisation with its heart for this first nation’s people.
Monika Stenberg

Monika Stenberg

Monika works to ensure the office and admin processes are practiced and followed correctly and that our staff and business are effective in providing our core interests.

My passion at ARDS is to accomplish great changes to enrich our communities and its people by showing compassion and understanding so that we can live together peacefully in our worlds.
Yirriṉiṉba Dhurrkay

Yirriṉiṉba Dhurrkay

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
Hannah Harper

Hannah Harper

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.
Donna Warner

Donna Warner

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.

Jorja Hutton

Jorja Hutton

Jorja is a student Nurse at Charles Darwin University as well as a Cross Cultural Facilitator in training at ARDS.

I am passionate about equality, health promotion and prevention. I hope to one day use my knowledge from nursing and my training at ARDS, to facilitate empowerment that builds on Indigenous people’s incredible cultural vitality.
Ben Ward

Ben Ward

Ben has a long history working Central Australia, working in creative arts, education, screen and media production. Ben has taught creative media and screen production for 7 years at Charles Darwin University and is now very happy to be producing films with Yolŋu people.

I love documentary filmmaking. Yolŋu people have such wonderful stories to share. Making films to share these stories is very a rewarding creative venture.
Joy Bulkanhawuy

Joy Bulkanhawuy

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.

Andrew Galitju Burarrwaŋa

Andrew Galitju Burarrwaŋa

Galitju is a senior elder within the Gumatj Clan Nation(s) and is well-versed in the traditions and cultural practices of Yolŋu people. He has a long history of working with ARDS as a Yolŋu consultant over a number of projects, particularly the recording of Gurraŋay dhäruk (words/stories) and manikay (songs). He is strongly committed to helping younger persons and future generations to learn about Yolŋu systems of knowledge and use this to build their lives and futures on firm foundations.

Howard Amery

Howard Amery

It is now more than 35 years since I first set foot in Arnhem Land and ARDS and began to encounter/engage the lived experience of Indigenous people who do not speak English as their first or second language. Along the way I have acquired some facility to dialogue with Yolŋu about the wide range of issues and challenges that they face on a regular basis. Through careful listening and in-depth discussions about a wide range of topics incorporating the fields of economics, law, health, education and governance, new understandings are formed and new words emerge to help us to negotiate this most interesting bilingual and bicultural space. This is what I do in ARDS.
James Wapiriny Gurruwiwi

James Wapiriny Gurruwiwi

Wapiriny is an Indigenous consultant from Galiwin’ku with extensive local government experience in Arnhem Land contexts. His depth of cultural knowledge about traditional Yolŋu systems of management has been utilised in many ARDS education projects and radio programs.

Sylvia Nulpinditj

Sylvia Nulpinditj

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) conference in Melbourne.

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