Podcast #6 COVID-19: Second Wave? How long will this sickness last?

Djiniyini Gondarra and Richard Trudgen discuss a number of different issues throughout this podcast.

Djiniyini is interested in why the Lands Council is involved in the coronavirus lockdown for north-east Arnhem Land. He and Richard Trudgen discuss how the Northern Territory government created a restricted area and assigned the Lands Council the role to issue permits for Balanda leaving and entering the area.

The Bio Security Act is discussed and some of its implications, including how the Lands Council has control over the entire bio-security area through the 1970 Aboriginal Land Rights Act NT and the Northern Territory permit act. Djiniyini wants to know more about the authority and role of the Lands Councils in the coronavirus lockdown. During the discussion Richard mentions the government is worried about a ‘second wave’ of the virus. Djiniyini questions this as he has heard the term ‘second wave’ but says it makes no sense to Yolngu people at all.

Djiniyini and Richard then explore the meaning of the English concept “a second wave”. They talk through what the first wave was and what the second wave could be. It is discussed that the first wave was mainly tourists and other people returning to Australia from overseas, but with some local transmission. But the second wave will be mostly local transmission of the virus, meaning for Yolngu people it could be transferred through their own relatives. This is a very important concept for Yolngu to understand as many still see the virus as some form of joke.

Djiniyini continues the conversation by explaining how the first wave has slowed down and things are sort of under control now but he asks how long is this disease going to go on for. Richard talks about the world-wide search to create a vaccine that will stop the spread of the virus. Djiniyini mentions a medicine that is promising to cure people and Richard explains that many people are trying to sell Yolngu different products to stop COVID-19, but these are not real medicines. There is no vaccine yet available. Djiniyini explains how viruses can be seen under a big microscope and that helps in learning about how it moves, reproduces and all other aspects of it, which is all useful when developing a vaccine.

There is a discussion how it is more important for everybody to be thinking about how to organize themselves and learn to live safely together so that virus if it comes can’t be too destructive.


There are 4 Stories in this podcast. Please see time stamps below:

  • Story No. 1 Why is the Lands Council Involved  0:00
  • Story No. 2 Arnhem Land becomes a restricted area 10:29
  • Story No. 3 Meaning of First & Second Wave 20:53
  • Story No. 4 How long will this sickness last 29:49


Click on the links below to listen to the other podcasts in our COVID-19 series: 

Please note: Podcasts 1 & 2 are not currently available online due to the unfortunate death of one of our presenters.