Gudju Gudju named as 'Improving Life After Stroke' finalist
Gimuy Yidinji Elder Gudju Gudju was not going to let a stroke
stop his work to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
people with brain injuries.
While working as a cultural advisor with Synapse, Gudju Gudju
suffered a major haemorrhagic stroke which left him completely
incapacitated for six weeks.
As soon as he was able, Gudju Gudju started working from his
hospital bed, filing reports and even taking meetings to ensure the
vital work to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander brain
injury survivors continued.
It was during this time that Gudju Gudju decided he could use his
own stroke experience to raise awareness of the barriers faced by
Indigenous people seeking treatment and rehabilitation for brain
In addition to his work administering cultural activities to help
community members affected by acquired brain injuries, Gudju Gudju
now uses his role as a Traditional Elder to educate the community
"Stroke effects everyone and is not confined to one culture or
colour." - Gudju Gudju
Q & A
What does it mean to you to be named a
finalist in the Stroke Awards?
It is a surprise. I never thought there was such an award!
Why is supporting the National Stroke
Foundation and raising awareness about stroke important to
It's important to raise awareness about the effects of having a
stroke and the long term recovery time. When I am invited to
preform welcomes or key note speeches I talk about my experiences
and support I have needed to continue to lead an active life.
How do you think your contribution has made
It's hard to say. I hope my contributions to raising awareness
will encourage others to see the effects stroke has had on me and
make life choices to avoid having a stroke but also to show you can
recover and stay positive by sharing my experiences.
What motivates your work to support the
My own experiences in the hospital rehabilitation demonstrated to
me that there were little cultural appropriate avenues of
rehabilitation. I felt some of the assessments may lead Indigenous
stroke victims to a state of depression. There are many obvious
opportunities to use culture to stimulate and assist
What is one thing you would like people to
know about stroke?
Stroke effects everyone, and is not confined to one culture or
colour. It can effect anybody and everybody. If you become a victim
of stroke try to be positive, always strive to push yourself to get
better no matter how hard or painful it gets - your own motivation
will drive your recovery.
References and further information