Together Retreat

Together Retreat



At the very heart of Hope for Health is the joy and value of journeying together across cultures towards vibrant health. It all started with a powerful sharing between Yolngu woman Dianne Biritjalawuy and Balanda woman Kama Trudgen, and has grown to be a rich and evolving space where traditional Yolngu knowledge can meet with other traditions as well as modern science.


We believe that Balanda and Yolngu are all part of the same story. We have different vantage points and perspectives- that’s what makes journeying together so powerful- it gives us new eyes for the world we share. A world that is all the richer for holding our diversity.


We want to transform health and at the same time bridge the gap between Balanda and Yolngu, by sharing space, wisdom, and experience together. 

We believe that returning to the wisdom of Yolngu traditional knowledge is a central foundation to reclaiming vibrant health for Yolngu people. But this foundation knowledge has so much to teach us all. We are passionate about making this knowledge relevant and applicable in our modern world.

For Balanda, TOGETHER retreats are an opportunity to invest in your own health, with the support and guidance of world class practitioners from both the Yolngu and Balanda worlds. What is unique about this opportunity, is that your participant fee not only covers your spot, but sponsors a Yolngu participant who then undergoes the program with you- TOGETHER.


You get to transform your own health, whilst also paying it forward to give a Yolngu person the life-saving opportunity to experience health and access information and skills.


We think true health involves coming TOGETHER. These retreats are about creating a context where we can all benefit from Yolngu knowledge, whilst tangibly impacting the Indigenous health crisis. You get to see the impact of your gift right before your own eyes, whilst achieving a new level of health and insight.


For Balanda, the journey will begin with a 3 month online preparatory course, to resource and equip you with cross cultural, personal development and nutrition knowledge and skills, that will then culminate in the 2-week intensive retreat, in rural Darwin NT.


We know that coming TOGETHER for such a transformational process will be life changing and life saving for all involved. We are so excited to share all the juice details with you soon.

TOGETHER retreats are a partnership between Why Warriors Org (who administer the Hope for Health project) and Helen Padarin. Why Warriors brings over 40 years of wisdom and experience in Arnhem Land, specialising in building capacity across cultures. Helen Padarin brings the world class skill of nutritionist, naturopath, author and Balanda retreat facilitation experience.


Helen Padarin (BHSc(Nat) DN, ND, DBM) is a naturopath, nutritionist and herbalist in clinical practice since 2001.  Helen is co-author of The Complete Gut Health Cookbook (with Pete Evans) and BubbaYumYum (with Pete Evans and Charlotte Carr) and has contributed chapters to tertiary education textbooks in clinical naturopathic medicine.  Helen is passionate about supporting people to reconnect with themselves, deepening the way they relate to each other and nature, about empowering people to make simple dietary and lifestyle changes that reward with big health and happiness impacts and overall for people to find the joy in being well.  Helen realises the best way to learn and create change is through experience, rather than just knowledge. For this reason she is very passionate about creating immersive online programs and retreat experiences that provide every participant the opportunity for empowering insight and transformation.


Dianne (Biritjalawu) is a Yolngu leader from Elcho Island in Northeast Arnhem Land. She has a Master’s Degree in Indigenous Knowledge from Charles Darwin University and a certificate II in Business and Administration. She speaks 4 languages – Djambarrpuyngu, English, Dhangu and Gupapuyngu. She is the daughter of eminent civil rights advocate and Aboriginal leader Rev Dr Djiniyini Gondarra OAM. She is a radio presenter on Yolngu Radio, and co-facilitates ‘Bridging the Gap’ seminars with Richard Trudgen as a way of sharing the depth of Indigenous knowledge with the wider Australian community. She is co-founder of the Hope for Health project.


Kama Trudgen (MBBS) is a Medical Doctor who stepped sideways from clinical practice to be immersed in the world of community development. She spent 8 years living with her family on Elcho Island, North East Arnhem Land, where she is adopted into the Gupapuyngu clan. Kama and her husband Tim made themselves available on the ground to support Yolngu with the passions and enterprises that local people wanted to develop for themselves. They supported a number of social enterprises and developed deep relationships. In the process of overcoming the heartbreaking problem of not being able to make it through a pregnancy, Kama discovered the power of nutrition. She now has two beautiful children keeping her on her toes. Sharing her family’s healing foods with a Yolngu friend started a chain reaction in the community that birthed the Hope for Health program. At various times Kama has played whatever different roles have been necessary to steward and support the Hope for Health program and its participants. She is passionate about empowering Yolngu to reclaim their vitality, the power and relevance of the wisdom held in traditional cultures, and bridging the Gap between the Yolngu world and the dominant culture.


Timothy Trudgen BSc (Hons) and BA (Anthropology)(Hons) founded Why Warriors Pty Ltd in 2001, and the charity Why Warriors Org in 2016, with his father Richard Trudgen.  He has worked closely with the Yolngu people of North East Arnhem Land for over 17 years, including living in the Galiwin’ku community on Elcho Island for 8 years. He speaks Djambarrpuyŋu and has been adopted into this clan nation through his father. His work is focused on cross-cultural education and capacity building (particularly in health and economics), and Enterprise Facilitation to help Yolngu implement their own visions for economic and social endeavours. He is CEO of the Charity, managing the Hope for Health program, and spearheading its innovative educational approach.