Our Story

Aboriginal people are advised that this page contains images of people in the Dreaming.
A colourful map of Australia sections each state with its own colour. An icon shows the location of Mandjawuy in the NT

Our place

Our challenge

A montage of images shows the back of a man with a spear at the water's edge, a group of 3 children, and a person carving wood

Our Family History in

Education

Our family has been dedicated to education in our region since Europeans first arrived at the beginning of last century.

We are the children and grandchildren of the great Yolngu leader, Wonggu, who guided our people through the difficult period of white settlement from the 1920s to the 1950s.

For centuries before, our people had interacted with the Macassan traders of south east Asia, so the Yolngu already had ways of thinking and living that helped us adapt to very different cultures without being overwhelmed by them.

Wonggu was determined that his family would survive and prosper despite the massive changes our people faced during this time.

He made sure that his children were educated in European knowledge as well as our traditional knowledge so they could navigate a path through both worlds in the future.

One of Wonggu’s daughters married Dula Ngurruwutthun who was a senior ceremonial leader and also understood the power of knowledge in all cultures.

Dula was critical in the foundation of bilingual education in East Arnhem Land and painted a section of the Barunga Statement which was presented to former Prime Minister Bob Hawke requesting a treaty between the Australian Government and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Mandjawuy family leader, teacher and school principal Nalwarri Ngurruwutthun painting on a large canvas
A long rectangular painting of Munyuku wanga - the country of the Munyuku clan. This is an Indigenous artwork.

Munyuku Wanga

We belong to the Munyuku clan and this painting shows Munyuku wanga – our country. This is a place where water mixes to create power and knowledge.