"We named this project Ngawurramangajirri (we care for each other). We are helping our people to keep our culture strong, respect each other and look after ourselves and others, our land and our creators, Purrukupali and his mother, Muntakala.” - Cathy Pumuralimawu Stassi, Tiwi elder.

This project has resulted in the first Tiwi to English phrase book about mental health and wellbeing, which is a resource describing mental health and wellbeing terms. This project grew out of the identified need for young people to develop stronger Tiwi language skills, and be able to express their feelings and needs using Tiwi.

The majority of content within this dictionary, occurred within seven workshops of four- to six-hours duration, held between May and September 2019. Between five and fifteen Elders with an extensive knowledge of Tiwi, were present at each workshop and worked together, through long discussions and storytelling, to gain adequate meaning behind each term. Health professionals were present at each workshop to provide plain English explanations for interpretation.

The team:
Chief investigators:
Project manager:
Contact person:
Project dates:

January 2019 - July 2020

Partner organisations and funders:
  • Menzies School of Health Research
  • Tiwi Land Council
  • Top End Mental Health Services, Northern Territory Department of Health
  • Julanimawu Health Centre, Wurrimiyunga
  • Tiwi College, Pikataramoor
  • Uti Kulintjaku Project
  • RUOK Australia

Tiwi contributors:
  • AM Puruntatameri
  • Cathy Pumuralimawu Stassi
  • Magdalen Pamurntanawu Kelantumama
  • T K Puruntatameri
  • Andrew Jipwarlapijimi Kelantumama
  • Ancilla Warlapijimayuwu Kurrupuwu
  • Francis Xavier Maralampuwi Kurrupuwu
  • Callista Jukura Kantilla
  • Gibson Farmer
  • Linda Farmer
  • Berna Naniwayuwu Timapeatua
  • Anastasia Nilus Vigona
  • Gregrianna Parker
  • Cedric Stassi
  • Leonie Tipiloura
Health professionals: 
  • Stacey Bridges
  • Illija Jacobs
  • Dr Anne Patton
  • Dr Kate Goodenough
  • TBC
Music / audio provided by:
  • Ngarukuruwala
  • Anne Marie Ampirlipiyanuwu Puruntatameri
  • Cathy Pumuralimawu Stassi
  • Jahdai Wilson-Vigona
Video production by:​​​​​​​
  • Taliyah Millen


  1. MEDIA RELEASE | Ngawurramangajirri - Tiwi phrases for mental health and wellbeing

    MEDIA RELEASE | Ngawurramangajirri - Tiwi phrases for mental health and wellbeing


    A new Tiwi to English phrase book to help people talk about mental health and wellbeing is being launched in Wurrumiyanga.

  2. A new way to support Tiwi mental health

    A new way to support Tiwi mental health


    With traditional language words to describe mental health rarely translatable to English, Ngawurramangajirri is a much-needed resource for Tiwi wellbeing.