Djapirri Mununggirritj is a Yolngu Elder from Yirrkala in North East Arnhem Land.
For decades, she has worked tirelessly to support her community and to foster strong relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians and non-Indigenous Australians.
Djapirri is committed to addressing the issues facing her community, including drugs, alcohol and violence.
One of her key achievements was establishing the Yirrkala Women’s Patrol, which saw Aboriginal elders walk the streets late at night to successfully deal with domestic violence, alcohol and other community safety issues.
She is an accomplished artist who is committed to the protection and promotion of Yolngu art, and spent five years managing Nambara Arts and Crafts.
More recently, Ms Mununggirritj has served as a Director and Community/Cultural Manager for Culture College Arnhem Land Aboriginal Corporation. She has helped develop a Yolngu based educational strategy that will effect change in all Australians, helping bring the nation closer to a reality of Reconciliation. Culture College provides real engagement with the local Indigenous community and non-Indigenous student, teachers, corporate leaders being guided by the Yolngu principal of Dalatj Manapanmirri – mixing of waters and worlds to find balance.
Locally, she has worked to promote positive relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous women by organising women’s nights where Yolngu and Balance (white) women can meet and share culture.
On the national stage, she is considered a political trailblazer and helps guide Australia’s reconciliation journey through her work as a board member of Reconciliation Australia and with Culture College.