Tradition, Truth and Tomorrow

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Tradition, Truth & Tomorrow is "no mere essay. It is an existential prayer," writes Noel Pearson.

Galarrwuy Yunupingu tells of his early life, his dealings with prime ministers, and how he learnt that nothing is ever what it seems. And behind him, he writes, "the Yolngu world is always under threat. This is a weight that is bearing down on me; at night it is like a splinter in my mind."

"I am trying to light the fire in our young men and women . . . the flame will burn and intensify – an immense smoke, cloud-like and black, will arise, which will send off a signal and remind people that we, the Gumatj people, are the people of the fire. There are people of the fire around Alice Springs – and I reach out to them, too. We can then burn united, together."

About the Author

Galarrwuy Yunupingu is a member of the Gumatj clan from Yirrkala, in east Arnhem Land. He played a key role in the battle for indigenous land rights and has been a strong advocate for Aboriginal Australians. He was Australian of the Year in 1978, and was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 1985 for services to the Aboriginal community.

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Harvard citation

Korff, J 2020, Tradition, Truth and Tomorrow, <>, retrieved 12 May 2021

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