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Greg McKellar OAM | Language, Greg, Aboriginal, Wangkumarra, Mckellar, Phrases, Classes, Frances | FATSILC, Fed. Aboriginal Torres Strait Island Languages and Culture
Greg McKellar OAM PDF Print E-mail
Greg McKellar OAM
Greg McKellar
Muda Aboriginal Corporation in bourk went into full celebration mode when the news came that Greg McKellar had been awarded an Order ofAustralia Medal; in the 2006 Australia Day Honours list. The award comes as a recognition of the many years of dedicated effort that Greg has put into the preservation of languages in his hometown area.

Greg talks passionately about the benefits of and staff at language classes for the local children.

"I see the looks on the faces of our kids in the shared classes. We teach it to the non Aboriginal kids as well. It gives them an understanding. But our kids - they're so proud. They are thinking this is our language and we'll share it with you. It's so uplifting for them because language touches a chord that is part of your mental and physical makeup. I think it does a lot for their confidence because it gives them identity and self esteem."

Over 75% of the Aboriginal people of Bouke are descendants of the Wangkumarra people.

This year Greg has taken up post-graduate studies doing MA in linguistics at UNE in Armidale. he also plans to write dictionary on his mother's language and will continue producing language teaching resources in Wangkumarra. Greg his wife Frances and staff at Muda were previously in the national focus when Queen Elizabeth visited the language centre in March 2000.

Greg McKellar OAM
Greg and Frances McKellar at 2CUZfm
Language lessons and music mix

TWICE a day on 2CUZ fm the radio format changes from a selection of great lndigenous music
to a Wangkumarra language lesson. "Today we'll be doing some greetings" Says Tara McKellar as she begins broadcasting Wangkumarra words and phrases to her audience in the Murdi Paaki listening area. Sometimes the class focuses on single words, like foods, plants, and parts of the body. Other times whole sentences or phrases are being shared.The language session is a way of reaching the community members who can't get to the adult language classes run by the Muda Aboriginal Corporation and have proved extremely popular with both Indigenous and
non lndigenous listeners
2CUZ office Manager Frances McKellar found out just how many listeners were tuning in when the language team chose the wrong subject matter for one of the short segments.

One day the sentence they used for the translation was 'The old man picked up the stick and hit the boy' Well we had so many complaints from people who called up and said we had enough problems with violence without using that sort of talk on the program. There were non aboriginal people ringing as well. l said to them all -thank you for your concern and we'll certainly take that on board."

Louise Elwood is the afternoon announcer who takes the second class for the day. The Wangkumarra content isn't confined to the two set segments in the daily program, as Louise and Tara both use language words and phrases as a matter of course.

2CUZfm goes out to a wide area of NSW that covers Bourke,Walgett, Lightning Ridge, Brewarrina,Goodooga and Wilcannia.