Posted on 26 June, 2020

Chief Minister gets a firsthand look at our work

Chief Minister gets a firsthand look at our work

The Chief Minister of the Northern Territory, Michael Gunner, recently paid our Nhulunbuy offices a visit to get a first-hand look at our recent work.

Along with wife Kristy O’Brien and infant son Hudson, the Chief Minister met ARDS Chair Gawura Waṉambi, members of the ARDS Board and ARDS Yolŋu staff and toured our offices, hearing about our work spreading the COVID-19 message and the development of our East Arnhem Cultural Competency Training (CCT) program.

While ARDS staff took turns cooing over Hudson, ARDS CCT facilitator Mayalil Marika demonstrated a small component of our face to face training, pealing back layers of the bark of the paperbark tree (raŋan) as a metaphor for the layers of Yolŋu knowledge that ARDS’ training can help Balanda to uncover.

Thanks to a Northern Territory Government grant under the Future Skills initiative, a currently unused room at the Nhulunbuy office will be remodelled into a CCT training facility and our recording studio will be multipurposed, providing state of the art film and music production facilities for East Arnhem Land.

During the tour of the Yolŋu Radio studio, the Chief Minister took the opportunity to don the headphones and interview Hudson, who dealt with the tough questions with ease.

The Chief Minister spoke to us about the vital role Yolŋu Radio has played in combatting COVID-19 in northeast Arnhem Land and announced that he would make it mandatory for all Northern Territory Government employees in northeast Arnhem Land to undertake ARDS’ East Arnhem Cultural Competency Training.

Our Cultural Competency Training, available Online and in Face-to-Face workshops, is designed to help Balanda better communicate with Yolŋu and was developed to meet the high demand for accessible, practical and enjoyable training for organisations working in East Arnhem Land.

Check it out at

PHOTO: ARDS CCT facilitator Mayalil Marika provides an overview of the CCT workshops for the Chief Minister.

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