Associate Professor Elaine Läwurrpa Maypilama

Hon. Doc Litt (CDU) & Associate Diploma in Teaching (Batchelor Institute)

Principal Research Fellow

Elaine Läwurrpa Maypilama is a Principal Research Fellow in the Northern Institute, College of Indigenous Futures, Arts and Society. Dr. Maypilama is a senior Yolŋu educator and researcher with a wide range of research experience related to nutrition, child and maternal health, hearing loss, sign language, chronic disease, intercultural communication, child development and program evaluation. Läwurrpa is widely respected for her high level of expertise in developing and conducting culturally responsive and high quality research. Her advice and participation is frequently sought, not only by researchers and others working with Yolŋu, but from across Australia.

Dr. Maypilama  was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from CDU in 2013 and also has an Associate Diploma in Teaching from Bachelor Institute. Läwurrpa’s early career was as a teacher at Shepherdson College at Galiwin’ku and she has worked extensively in research with Charles Darwin University as well as Menzies School of Health for over twenty years.

Läwurrpa was one of the founding members of the research organisation Yalu’ Marŋgithinyaraw which uses traditional Yolŋu clan structures of governance and management to promote the physical, spiritual and emotional health of Yolŋu.

Läwurrpa has had extensive involvement with the Graduate School for Health Practice then the Research Centre for Health and Wellbeing. She has been involved in numerous research projects including the ARC-funded ‘Indigenous birth and family’ project, FACSIA funded ‘Footprints in Time’ project, and Department of Health and Ageing funded ‘Taking Control of Chronic Disease’ project. She is also an author on many publications and has presented at numerous conferences across Australia and internationally.

Läwurrpa recognised that non-Indigenous researchers often fail to understand the complexities of an Indigenous worldview, and that this lack of understanding is significant when conducting research. To address this, she has consistently acted as a facilitator to assist non-Indigenous researchers to better understand their processes within a Yolŋu.

GROWING UP CHILDREN IN TWO WORLDS PROJECT 

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Research Projects

Current Projects

2016-2019
'Growing up children in two worlds’ -
building Yolŋu skills, knowledge and priorities into early childhood assessment and support. Yalu Marŋgithinyaraw in partnership with the Research Centre for Health and Wellbeing, School of Health, CDU and SNAICC. Funded by Lowitja Institute.

2018-19
Caring for Mum on Country Project”. Northern Institute, CDU.

2015-17
Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program: Whole of Community Engagement Initiative (HEPPP-WCE).  Office of the Pro-Vice Chancellor Indigenous Leadership, CDU.

2012-17
Growing up children in two worlds – recognizing and building on strengths in two Aboriginal communities. Anne Lowell, Elaine Ḻäwurrpa Maypilama, Jane Garrutju, Mary Finlayson. CDU Research project.

Recent Projects

2015 - 2016
Evaluation of East Arnhem Land Low Income Energy Efficiency Initiative.

Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs' CDEP Extension Program. Anne Lowell, Elaine Ḻäwurrpa Maypilama, Joanne Garŋgulkpuy. Yalu Marŋgithinyaraw in partnership with the Research Centre for Health and Wellbeing, CDU.

2012
Food Across Cultures: Integrating traditional Indigenous knowledge and ways of knowing to build strong nutrition, health and spirit. Susan Colles (Principal Investigator), Julie Brimblecombe, Elaine Lawurrpa Maypilama

2012 - 2013
Evaluation of the 'Sharing the full and true stories about chronic disease project”
Anne Lowell, Elaine Ḻäwurrpa Maypilama, Joanne Garŋgulkpuy, Rosemary Gundjarranbuy. Yalu Marŋgithinyaraw in partnership with the Research Centre for Health and Wellbeing, School of Health, CDU.

2009 -2013
The Good Food Systems: Good For All project (Building Capacity) Julie Brimblecombe, Elaine Ḻäwurrpa Maypilama. Menzies School of Health Research.

Publications & Resources

Books

Buergelt, P. T., Maypilama, L., McPhee, J., Dhurrkay, G., Nirrpuranydji, S., Manyturrpuy, S., Wunungmurra, M., Skinner, T., Campbell, C., Lowell, A. & Moss, S. (book manuscript in preparation). (Re)creating harmony: Indigenous and non-Indigenous people working together.

Fasoli, L. & Maypilama, L. et al.(2018) ‘We’re still being dragged to be white’: Learning from Yolŋu growing up their children in two worlds.  In Pence A (ed.) Thinking About Pedagogy in Early Education: Pedagogies for Diverse Contexts.  Routledge.

Journal Articles

Lowell, A. & Maypilama L. et al. “The invisible homeless: challenges faced by families bringing up their children in a remote community”.  BMC Public Health. (in press).

Buergelt, P. T., Maypilama, L., McPhee, J., Dhurrkay, G., Nirrpuranydji, S., Manyturrpuy, S., Wunungmurra, M., Skinner, T., Campbell, C., Lowell, A. & Moss, S. (in press).  Housing and overcrowding in remote Indigenous communities. Energy Procedia.

Lowell, A., & Maypilama EL., Fasoli, L., Gundjarranbuy, R., Godwin-Thompson, J., Guyula, A., Yunupiŋu, M., Armstrong, E., Garrutju, J. & McEldowney, R. (2018) Building Yolŋu Skills, Knowledge, and Priorities into Early Childhood Assessment and Support: Protocol for a Qualitative Study. JMIR Res Protoc 2018;7(3):e50

Rohit, A., Brimblecombe, J.,O'Dea, K.,Tonkin, E., Maypilama, L., Maple‐Brown, L. (2017). Development of a short‐item diet quality questionnaire for Indigenous mothers and their young children: The Menzies remote short‐item dietary assessment tool. Australian Journal of Rural Health. 26. 10.1111/ajr.12412.

Buergelt, P. T., Maypilama, L. E., McPhee, J., Dhurrkay, G., Nirrpuranydji, S., Manyturrpuy, S., Wunungmurra, M., Skinner. T., Lowell, A., & Moss, S. (2017). Working together with remote Indigenous communities to facilitate adapting to using energy wisely: Barriers and enablers. Energy Procedia, 121, 262 - 269. doi.org/10.1016/j.egypro.2017.08.026

Rumbold, AR., Wild, KJ., Maypilama, EL., Kildea, SV,. Barclay, L., Wallace, EM. & Boyle JA. (2015) Challenges to Providing Fetal Anomaly Testing in a Cross-Cultural Environment: Experiences of Practitioners Caring for Aboriginal Women. Birth. 2015. Aug 7. doi: 10.1111/birt.12182.

Zemits, B., Maypilama, L., Wild, K., Mitchell, A. & Rumbold, A. (2015) Moving beyond ‘health education’: Participatory film making for cross-cultural health communication. Health Commun. 30(12):1213-22

Colles, SL., Maypilama, E. & Brimblecombe, J. (2014) Food, food choice and nutrition promotion in a remote Australian Aboriginal community. Aust J Prim Health. 20(4):365-72

McWhirter, RE., Thomson, RJ., Marthick, JR., Rumbold, AR., Brown, MA., Taylor-Thomson, D., Maypilama, EL., Condon, JR. & Dickinson, JL. (2014) Runs of homozygosity and a cluster of vulvar cancer in young Australian Aboriginal women. Gynecol Oncol.;133(3):421-6

Brimblecombe, J., Maypilama, E., Colles, S., Scarlett, M., Dhurrkay, JG., Ritchie, J. & O'Dea, K. (2014) Factors influencing food choice in an Australian Aboriginal community. Qual Health Res. 24(3):387-400

Wild, K., Maypilam, E.L., Kildea, S., Boyle, J. Barclay, L. & Rumbold, A. (2013) ‘Give us the full story’: overcoming the challenges to achieving informed choice about fetal anomaly screening in Australian Aboriginal communities. Social Science & Medicine. Dec;98:351-60.

Lowell, A, Maypilama, L, Yikaniwuy, S, Rrapa, E, Williams, R & Dunn, S (2012). "Hiding the story'': Indigenous consumer concerns about communication related to chronic disease in one remote region of the NT’, International Journal of Speech Language Pathology. Vol. 14, No. 3, Pages 200-208

Dunbar, T., Maypilama, E., and Garŋgulkpuy, J., (In press) Case Study: Engaging with Aboriginal people and communities.

Adone, D., Bauer, A., Cumberbatch, K & Maypilama, E., (2012) “Colour Signs in Two Indigenous Sign Languages.” In Sign Language Typology Series: Volume 4 – Village Sign Languages, edited by U.Zeshan & C. de Vos. Preston; Berlin: Ishara Press; Mouton de Gruyter: 2012.

Maypilama, E., & D. Adone. (2012), “Sociolinguistic Sketch of Yolngu Sign Language”. In Sign Language Typology Series: Vol(4) – Village Sign Languages, edited by Ulrike Zeshan & Connie de Vos. Preston; Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Brimblecombe, J., Mackerras, D., Garŋgulkpuy, Dhurrkay, J., Maypilama, E., Bundhala, L. & Dhurrkay, R. (2006) et al. Leanness and type 2 diabetes in a population of Indigenous Australians. Diabetes Res Clin Pract 2006 Apr;72(1):93-9

Cargo, M., Daniel, M., Marks, E., Brimblecombe, J., Scarlett, M., Maypilama, E. & Dhurrkay, JG. (2011) Integrating an ecological approach into an Aboriginal community-based chronic disease prevention program: A longitudinal process evaluation. BMC Public Health. 2011 May

Brimblecombe, J., Mackerras, D., Garnggulkpuy, J., Maypilama, E., Bundhala, L., Dhurrkay, R., Fitz, J., Maple-Brown, L., Shemesh, T., Rowley, KG. & O'Dea, K. (2005) Leanness and type 2 diabetes in a population of indigenous Australians. Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2006 Apr;72(1):93-9. Epub 2005 Nov 2.

Lowell, A., Budukulawuy, Gurimaŋu, Maypilama, E. & Nyomba (1995). Communication and learning in an Aboriginal school: The influence of conductive hearing loss. Aboriginal Child at School 23(4) pp.1-7

Conference Proceedings & Papers

Lowell A, Maypilama L et al. EECERA (European Early Childhood Education Research Association) Conference, Budapest, August 28-31, 2018. Oral Presentation: We’re still being dragged to be white’: Learning from Yolŋu growing up children in two worlds

Maypilama L, Lowell A. OMOZ  (Otitis Media Australia) Conference 2018 : Closing the Gap with Hearing, Darwin, August 14-16. Invited keynote: Beyond the middle ear: considering cultural and contextual influences supporting Aboriginal children’s development.

Keynote Presentations

Maypilama, L. & Lowell, A. “Invisible Homeless”: Challenges faced by families bringing up their children in a remote Aboriginal community. Invited presentation. NT Housing Forum, Darwin, March, 2018.

Maypilama L. & Fasoli L. The invisible Homeless – exploring the challenges of  crowded and insecure housing for families with young children in a remote community. CDN/ADMA Conference Darwin 11-12 September 2017.

Maypilama L. & Fasoli L. Deep understanding for collaboration between Yolŋu and Balanda. Little People Big Dreams Conference – October 6-7 2017 Darwin.

Maypilama, L. & Fasoli, L., (2017). Strong Collaboration for Little Kids: Ralmanapanmirr Jama Djamarrkuliw, ECA Reconciliation Symposium ‘Advancing reconciliation in early childhood education and care’, Gold Coast, May 5-6, 2017.

Buergelt, P. T., Maypilama, L., McPhee, J., Dhurrkay, G., Nirrpuranydji, S., Manyturrpuy, S., Wunungmurra, M., Skinner, T., Campbell, C., Lowell, A. & Moss, S. (2017, February).  Working together with remote Indigenous communities to facilitate adapting to using energy wisely: Barriers and enablers. Paper accepted for presenting at the Improving Residential Energy Efficiency International Conference, Wollongong, Australia.

Buergelt, P. T., Maypilama, L., McPhee, J., Dhurrkay, G., Nirrpuranydji, S., Manyturrpuy, S., Wunungmurra, M., Skinner, T., Campbell, C., Lowell, A. & Moss, S. (2017, February).  Housing and overcrowding in remote Indigenous communities. Paper accepted for presenting at the Improving Residential Energy Efficiency International Conference, Wollongong, Australia.

Lowell A, Guyula Y, Guyula A, Fasoli L, Gundjarranbuy R, Maypilama L, Garrutju G, Godwin-Thompson J, McEldowney R.  Growing up children in two worlds: cultural strengths in promoting child development in a remote region of Australia. Oral presentation. Lowitja Institute International Indigenous Health and Wellbeing Conference, Melbourne, Australia, November 2016.

Buergelt, P. T., Turnbull, B., Maypilma, L. E., McPhee, J., Skinner, T., Lowell, A., & Moss, S. (2016, November). Turbulent waters: Challenges and adaptations conducting PAR with diverse consortia partners and communities. Paper presented at the Australasian Ethics Network Conference (AEN), Sydney, Australia.

Buergelt, P. T., Maypilama, L. E., McPhee, J., Dhurrkay, G., Nirrpuranydji, S., Manyturrpuy, S., Wunungmurra, M., Lowell, A. & Moss, S. (2016, November). Indigenous and Non-Indigenous truly working together (co-creating) to facilitate adaptation and health/well-being: Barriers and enablers. Poster presented at the Lowitja Institute International Indigenous Health and Wellbeing Conference, Melbourne, Australia.

Buergelt, P. T., Maypilama, L. E., Dhurrkay, D., McPhee, J., Moss, S., Lowell, A. & Helmer, J. (2016, May). Transforming the communication gap between Indigenous and Western worldviews: Opportunities, challenges and pathways forward. Paper presented at the 12th International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry, Coalition for Critical Qualitative Inquiry (CCQI), University of Illinois, Urbana, USA.

Maypilama, E. L., Buergelt, P. T., McPhee, J., Nirrpurranydji, S., Dhurrkay, G., Lowell, A., Moss, S., & local Yolŋu co-researchers (2015, August). Pawaw & gapuw: A Yolŋu perspective of fire/power & water. Paper presented at the LIEEP Forum to the federal Department of Industry & Science, Newcastle, Australia.

Maypilama, E. L., Buergelt, P. T., McPhee, J., Nirrpurranydji, S., Dhurrkay, G., Lowell, A., Moss, S., & local Yolŋu co-researchers (2015, August). Pawaw & gapuw: A Yolŋu perspective of fire/power & water. Paper presented at Power and Water Corporation Board meeting, Darwin, Australia.

Research Reports

Wild K, Rumbold A, Maypilama L, Boyle J, Kildea S, Barclay L (2010). Checking for Problems with the Baby in Early Pregnancy: It’s Your Choice to Test for Down Syndrome and Neural Tube Defects. Darwin: Menzies School of Health Research [Flipchart and brochure]

Lowell, A. Maypilama, E. Yikaniwuy, S. Rrappa, E. Williams, R. Dunn, S. (2010). Taking control of chronic disease: strengthening communication and education strategies supporting self-management for Indigenous consumers. Project Report for DoHA.

Maypilama, E., Garŋgulkpuy, J., Murakami-Gold, L., and Dunbar, T., (2007) First Language Indigenous Research and Consultation Model Evaluation: Possible Model for future meaningful engagement. Darwin: CDU Press

Maypilama, E. & Garnggulkpuy G., Christie M., Greatorex, J., and Grace, J. (2004), Yolngu long-grassers on Larrakia land: First language research project, report for the Community Harmony Project Darwin and Palmerston

Lowell A. Lawurrpa E. Biritjalawuy D. Health and Education: Exploring the Connections. The Galiwin’ku Story (2003). CRCATH: Darwin.

Läwurrpa

Contacts

T: 08 8946 6473
E: Elaine.maypilama@cdu.edu.au

Casuarina Campus, Blue 4.1.24

CDU Research Webportal