Muda Aboriginal Corporation PDF Print E-mail

It may sound as though it's the last outpost, but the tiny town of Bourke in western New South Wales leaves many larger centres in the shade when it comes to the preservation of language and culture.

The Muda Aboriginal Corporation, operating from the Bourke TAFE College, has a full time staff of five and an impressive list of achievements for its short history. Reporting on the progress over the past three years, centre administrator Greg Mckellar highlighted the need for urgency in retrieving language in the area.

"A frightening estimation is that by the end of this century practically all Aboriginal fluent language speakers in NSW will be dead. With that goes the opportunity to teach the language and an opportunity to build and reinforce Aboriginal self esteem and pride."

Noting also that less than 2% of the NSW Aboriginal population speak language, Greg confirmed his commitment to raising the profile of the Yandruwandha language, approaching the task of community education in a variety of ways.

Using range of resources, people from preschool to the elderly can have access to this sharing of language knowledge.

The teaching is provided through:

  • School Education, Classes in Yandruwandha being run in almost all schools in the Bourke area, for children from kindergarden to Year 10.
  • The production of a fortnightly newsletter.
  • A weekly Yandruwandha language program on radio station 2WEB.
  • Language learning kit for those who are unable to attend formal classes.
  • Accreditation of a course in Yandruwandha at Bourke TAFE in 1996.

With funding from ATSIC for four employees and further assistance from DEET, the centre has a fully qualified teacher/linguist, three trainee language teachers and one Administrative Officer.

The staff at Muda are working to develop an Aboriginal Language Teacher Training course to equip local people with the skills needed to teach in the schools. This they hope to do in conjunction with the University of South Australia and have operational in 1997.

For more information about the Muda Aboriginal Corporation contact
Greg McKellar.
Phone 068721233
PO Box 363 Bourke.