“Yol nhuŋu ŋaḻapaḻ mala”
Who are your elders?
Celebrating and learning from Yolŋu families living with complex communication needs
Julie Wunungmurra and Rebecca Amery
National NAIDOC Week celebrations are held across Australia in the first week of July each year (Sunday to Sunday), to celebrate and recognise the history, culture, and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. NAIDOC Week is an opportunity for all Australians to learn about First Nations cultures and histories and participate in celebrations of the oldest, continuous living cultures on earth. The 2023 theme is “For Our Elders”.
This webinar will be an informal, reflective, and participatory opportunity for all people who use or support multi-modal communication to learn from Yolŋu families in our AGOSCI community.
You will hear from Julie Wunungmurra about her culture and identity as a Dalwaŋu (Yolŋu) woman from Northeast Arnhem Land. Julie will share about her work as a senior cultural advisor for the MJD Foundation, and involvement in research with Rebecca Amery (non-Fist Nations SLP) to develop Yolŋu AAC systems for her family living with MJD.
Rebecca and Julie will share about their research process to develop Yolŋu AAC system prototypes, and core principles about the ways that they work together across cultures. Participants will be encouraged to reflect on their own cultural identity and how these collaborative principles relate to their own lives and contexts.
Julie Gungunbuy Wunungmurra is a Dalwaŋu woman, from Galiwin’ku community. Julie is a senior Yolŋu cultural advisor at the MJD Foundation, where she has worked since 2011. Julie is the primary contact and support person for Yolŋu clients with MJD and their families in Darwin, Galiwin’ku and Yirrkala. Julie provides support to MJD Foundation community services, research and education programs and projects, providing cultural advice and support, as well as translation and interpreting for research, medical and genetic concepts. She has been the primary Yolŋu researcher for the MJD Communication research project and has also been involved in genetics and sleep research with the MJD Foundation.
Rebecca Amery is a lecturer in speech pathology and a PhD student at Charles Darwin University. Her research has aimed to build shared understanding about the communication experiences of Yolŋu living with Machado-Joseph Disease, and to improve communication opportunities for Yolŋu living with the disease through the development of aided Yolŋu augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) systems.
Rebecca grew up in the Northern Territory. She completed a Bachelor of Speech Pathology (Honours I) at the University of Newcastle in 2011. Rebecca has practiced as a speech pathologist in early intervention, education, and adult community contexts with culturally and linguistically diverse families in Darwin, Melbourne, Vietnam, and Indonesia. Her work often involves collaboration with interpreters, linguists, cultural brokers and partnering with local staff to deliver speech pathology services, facilitate workshops and develop communication resources in languages other than English.
Rebecca has a personal and professional interest in intercultural collaboration and using AAC to improve communication access for people who experience communication vulnerability.
This is a recording of a webinar, presented in July 2023.
AGOSCI is grateful to Julie and Rebecca for presenting this webinar and supporting AGOSCI to celebrate NAIDOC Week 2023.
AGOSCI is an independent body and does not endorse individual products or brands.
AGOSCI acknowledges the presence and contributions of all suppliers and resources available in the Australian and International AAC marketplace.