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Nhaltjan dhu ḻarrum ga dharaŋan dhuḏi-dhäwuw ŋunhi limurr dhu gumurrbunanhamirr ga waŋanhamirr, Yolŋu ga Balanda: how we come together to explore and understand the deeper story of intercultural communication in a Yolŋu (First Nations Australian) community

Emily Armstrong, Ḻäwurrpa Maypilama, Yuŋgirrŋa Bukulatjpi, Dorothy Gapany, Lyn Fasoli, Sarah Ireland, Rachel Dikul Baker, Sally Hewat, Anne Lowell

2023 Australia

This study explored intercultural communication from the perspectives of partners from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds. We used a culturally responsive form of video-reflexive ethnography to study intercultural communication processes between Yolŋu, pronounced Yolngu (First Nations people from the region that is now called North-East Arnhem Land, Northern Territory, Australia) and Balanda (non-Indigenous people). Yolŋu and Balanda researchers worked collaboratively throughout the study (2017–2021). In a very remote Yolŋu community in northern Australia, five early childhood assessment interactions were recorded and analysed by the 40 Yolŋu and Balanda participants. Researchers analysed data collaboratively using an approach aligned with constructivist grounded theory. We connected key research findings about intercultural communication processes to a place-based metaphor which foregrounds Yolŋu cultural knowledge and encourages reflection on deeper ways of thinking about how we connect, collaborate and communicate interculturally.

collaborative research, early childhood assessment, First Nations Australian, intercultural communication, metaphor, Yolŋu