23. What does Trespass really mean?

The English word trespassed is a very important legal word to understand. Only a few Yolŋu will understand what it means and its legal consequences. However, it can also be a very useful word. Many Yolŋu families living in communities where many of their relatives have access to alcohol could find this word very useful. Relatives come to town get drunk then head for countrymen’s home where people are trying to get sleep for work the next day or for their kids to go to school. The drunks turn up and turn a quiet night into a nightmare. Sometimes the police are called however the police often tell the “owner of the house” that, the drunks are their relatives and they should let them sleep there tonight. No amount of begging or pleading will convince the police to take the drunks away.

However, if the owner of the home tells the police that the drunks are trespassing then the police have to by law take the drunks away and maintain the peace. Everyone has a right to a good night sleep and safe care for the children within their own home. The word trespass can be very powerful in this way.


There are 2 Stories in this podcast. Please see time stamps below –

  • Meaning of Trespass.      0:00
  • The word trespass can protect Yolŋu from drunks.    13:53
Dhäwu ga ŋorra dhawal mala gammurruw
Mayali ŋorra dhuwal mala dhärukgu