Posted on 26 June, 2017

Radio Series to Demystify Gambling

Radio Series to Demystify Gambling

Photo:  Howard Amery, Andrew Pascoe and Gawura Waṉambi discuss impacts of gambling

A ground-breaking new series of Yolŋu Matha radio programs will unpack the confusing and problematic world of gambling.

ARDS facilitators have been working with Yolŋu consultants in Darwin over the past 12 months, developing storylines that explore gambling at some depth, with a specific focus on pokies. Poker machines are the leading cause of problem gambling in Australia, and to which Indigenous Australians are particularly vulnerable.

Gambling has a long and important history in Arnhem Land, being introduced by Macassan traders hundreds of years ago through dopuḻu (card games).

We’ve drawn on the expertise of various Yolŋu consultants, including Gawura Waṉambi, Sylvia Ŋulpinditj, Ruth Nalmakarra and Wapiriny Gurruwiwi to develop stories, terms and metaphors that build on – as well as reframe – existing Yolŋu concepts about gambling.

The programs will create understanding of how the djäl – competing desires – of those who participate in the gambling industry – including government and players – contributes to players getting ‘hooked’ by pokies. By demystifying the law around the industry, as well as the mechanisms by which electronic gaming machines hook players, we aim to reduce Yolŋu confusion around this issue.

Yolŋu perspectives about problems caused by gambling are developed through the series, and Yolŋu voices identify where solutions to these problems might lie.

The series is expected to be aired on Yolŋu Radio and streamed online from August.

Support for this project comes from the NT Government Department of Business’ Community Benefit Fund – Gambling Amelioration Grants.

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