Walirryuna means ‘radiant sun’.
Walirryuna is my Yolngu name given to me by an Aboriginal woman from Arnhem Land who adopted me as her ngama (mother). I love the fact that the name she chose for me means ‘radiant sun’. Yolgnu people are the traditional Aboriginal people of the north east part of the Northern Territory.
I use this name for my businesses with respect and honour. I also use it as a symbolic way that I can help to build bridges between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians: by putting it out there, showing respect, initiating dialogue, opening channels, creating connections.
I was privileged to attend a cross-cultural mediation and leadership training workshop known as Mawul Rom, on Elcho Island, Arnhem Land in 2007. At the time I was working in Indigenous employment and communications, so the program was very relevant to improving my understandings and awareness for my job. It has been invaluable in an ongoing way in building my own relationships with Aboriginal people and my appreciation of their traditional and contemporary cultural perspectives.
Mawul Rom aims to promote and facilitate respectful dialogue between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. Through exploration of the similarities and differences between Indigenous and non-Indigenous cultural spheres, Mawul Rom assists people to develop skills, knowledge and capacity to work effectively and respectfully in the landscape of cross-cultural conflict resolution, decision-making and joint problem-solving.
For more information about Mawul Rom see their website at: http://www.mawul.com