Australian Communities Foundation - Home

Sorry. You're using a browser that we
don't support.

To experience this site, please use Firefox, Chrome or Edge.

Why Warriors

COVID-19 education program East Arnhem Land

COVID-19 education program East Arnhem Land

Senior Yolngu community members on Elcho Island, Nth East Arnhem Land explain that local community are fearful and confused about the Corona-virus and the Gov...





australia > NT > regional
18/05/2020 > 31/08/2020


  • Supporting Indigenous Communities - Indigenous leadership and self-determination
  • Tackling Inequality - Health and wellbeing


  • Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Peoples


Senior Yolngu community members on Elcho Island, Nth East Arnhem Land explain that local community are fearful and confused about the Corona-virus and the Governments preventative control measures. The community are seeking deeper level discussion in Yolngu Matha language and primary information (described by Yolngu as dhudi-dhawu) regarding the pandemic and how to minimise its impact on their vulnerable community with high levels of chronic disease. This deeper understanding of the virus will also equip community members with the knowledge to minimize rumours and mis-information contributing to fear within the community.

Hope for Health recognizes that community engagement must be at the centre of any public health intervention, especially in emergencies. Every person has a right to know about risks to their health and well-being. With culturally appropriate information, delivered in culturally appropriate ways, Yolngu communities can make informed decisions to take action to reduce health risks.

Hope for Health Covid-19 Education Program will include:
– An adaptation of Hope for Health curriculum to include culturally appropriate Covid-19 health educational content developed by Yolngu community leaders and non-indigenous educator
– Training of Yolngu Health Coaches to develop their skills and capacity to deliver Covid-19 health education.
– Delivery of Covid-19 health education through the Hope for Health coaching model as a vehicle to lead culturally appropriate discussions that encourage healthy behaviour change


The adapted Hope for Health curriculum to include Covid-19 Health Education, delivered through the existing Health Coaching model by trained Yolngu health coaches, will:
- Provide existing 70 individual participants of Hope for Health and their households with vital information and cultural understanding of the Corona-virus pandemic.
- Hope for Health Yolngu Steering Committee and community leaders will provide monthly reports on the impact of the Covid-19 Education program to minimize levels of community anxiety on Elcho Island
- The expansion of the Hope for Health Covid-19 education program to other households on Elcho Island through referrals to participant kin networks

Health Coaching in Aboriginal communities, is a pioneering new field of service intended to support local people to maintain healthy lifestyle changes. During this period of Corona-virus, Yolngu Health coaches will receive training and on-going professional development and support to deliver effective Covid-19 education and continue to empower Yolngu people to make choices to improve their health and well-being.
This will be achieved through:
- Yolngu community leaders and non-indigenous educator development of culturally appropriate education curriculum
- Yolngu health coaches completion of initial training and 3 months of on-going professional training support
- Delivery of Covid-19 education to 70 households and expansion to participant kin networks through Yolngu referrals

Why Warriors Org Ltd provides community-based, led charitable programs in remote Aboriginal communities with Yolngu and other Aboriginal people. The Hope for Health program is the current sole focus of the organisation, operating on Elcho Island in Nth East Arnhem Land.

Hope for Health aims to enable Aboriginal people to prevent and manage chronic disease for themselves and their families through informed and improved healthy diet and lifestyle choices. This leads to improved quality of life and longevity, through reduction of obesity and chronic disease morbidity. In the words of the Yolngu people, it is to re-awaken Yolnguw rom walngaw – a Yolngu culture of vitality.

Overseen by a Steering Committee comprising of senior Yolngu community members, Hope for Health combines traditional Yolngu knowledge with mainstream approaches to health (diet and exercise) in an integrated cultural setting that effects a transformational shift in behaviour and practice associated with healthy food choices and lifestyle.
Hope for Health delivers transformative dietary and well-being experiences together with education that provide the skills and knowledge to enable Aboriginal people to improve their health.

Key activity areas include:
- Health Retreats focusing on diet, exercise and culturally appropriate education
- 1:1 Health Coaching with trained local community Aboriginal health coaches providing on-going support to participants for 3-6 months post-retreat.
- Cooking workshops and hunting trips led by Yolngu staff and Steering Committee members
- Provision of health food supplies not currently available from local store


Funding sourceAmount
Funding gap$15,472
Expense itemAmount
Yolngu Staff Wages$6,840
Educator Wages$4,416
Staffing on-costs$2,420
Vehicle use$210
Educational resources$180
Administration fee$1,406

Support COVID-19 education program East Arnhem Land

Got a question about this project or ready to contribute? Contact our Philanthropy & Impact Team.


As a broker of change, we invite social change initiatives to apply for funding. Eligible proposals are shared with our giving community via our Granting Opportunities directory.