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VOTL 35 | Indigenous, Language, Yinya, Banha, Yirrbal, Jamarninha, Songs, Fatsil | FATSILC, Fed. Aboriginal Torres Strait Island Languages and Culture
Voice of the Land - Volume 35 PDF Print E-mail
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Voice of the Land - Volume 35
Voice of the Land - Volume 35

Our Languages Are the
Voice of the Land

ISSN 1834-4216


Minhe Nyana Welcome PDF Print E-mail

Culture is an amazing thing. You have to consider it a very special thing that you have, a special value. If you want to put it in simple terms - it’s like love. It doesn’t matter who you are. It is important, it is valuable, is a part of us. Culture is like that. But culture doesn’t have any value whatsoever if you don’t share it.

The same can be said about language. It needs to be shared. You can’t lock up something special that belongs to all of us. We, who may be the last speakers, need to share the special things about our languages.

LINGAD 07 PDF Print E-mail

Jack Buckskin, member of the Taikurtinna dance group at the opening of the LINGAD conference
warra wiltaniappendi

strengthening languages

Indigenous Language workers from all over Australia travelled to Kaurna country (Adelaide) LINGAD 07, to explore and express their experiences of preserving and invigorating Indigenous languages. Traditional owner, Kauwanu (Uncle) Lewis Yerloburka O’Brien, welcomed delegates to country, ‘Marni ninna budni womma tarndanyanna: Kaurna Yerta’ ‘Welcome to the Adelaide Plains: Kaurna Country’, at the opening address on Tuesday the 25th of September. Then things got busy. Thirty-five presentations, four keynote addresses, six plenary sessions, a hypothetical and a three-course conference dinner followed.

Read more... PDF Print E-mail
The Federation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Languages (FATSIL) recently launched its new website, It contains all kinds of information about FATSIL and Indigenous language development, and a forum section where you can submit comments about suggestions about FATSIL activities and directions.
Ngiyaa giingan girrwaa barrway PDF Print E-mail

We are on

Aunty Loretta Riley, Aunty Emily Walker, Uncle Bud Marshall
Aunty Loretta Riley, Aunty Emily Walker, Uncle Bud Marshall
e big happy family

If you’re be passing through the coastal NSW town of Nambucca Heads on a Tuesday morning, and you are very quiet, you might hear singing voices of the Muurrbay Aboriginal Language and Culture Cooperative Elders choir, drifting through the trees. They’re a special group because they are singing in Gumbaynggirr, the Indigenous language of that country, and the atmosphere is great.

Welcome to Watee(Dugong) Classroom PDF Print E-mail

Welcome to Watee(Dugong) Classroom
From left: Lindsay Billy, Leileni Woosup, Rev. Mary Eseli, Lui Namoa, Maudai Bowie
This is where we learn Anghamuthi with Ama Mary. On Tuesday mornings we sing songs, make stories, draw, and practice words. Everyone in Injinoo speaks Creole, so we say the Creole, English and Anghamuthi words. ‘Watee’ means Dugong, a special animal for everyone here in Injinoo.

Wujal Yalangi Yirrbal Yiri PDF Print E-mail

Wujal Yalangi Yirrbal Yiri
Mr Peter Wallace
Wujal Wujal Waterfall

“Kuku yinya Yalangi yiri. Yinya Yin ngananga
Yalanjiwarranga bamanga. Yinya Yin
ngananga Yalanjiwarranga bamanga.”

Kuku yinya Yalangi yiri. Yinya Yin ngananga Yalanjiwarranga bamanga. Yinya Yin ngananga Yalangiwarranga bamanga. Yinya bana ngananga
Yirrbal nyulu yinya bananga bundanday. Yinya yala kabanji bayan.

Nyulu yirrbalda junjuy-junjuy kujil manu bajabuku nganjinga. Nyulu yirrbal kuliji nyulu (yirrbal) junjuyjunjuy ngakil nganandamu.

Yirrbal kurriyala yalanjiwarranga bijarr. Wabaja yirrbalba bayan nyulu (yirrbal) jilba dungay yirikurrku. Jalbu-jalbungu yirrbal burri kija nyungu bubu Burungu (Meg falls).

Eastern Torres Strait Islander Songs PDF Print E-mail

Eastern Torres Strait Islander Songs
Eastern Torres Strait Islander Songs
Can a language truly survive unless it can adequately convey its immediate world and the feeling of those living in its context? Can it travel without its full swag of voices? For people on the move, it’s the jokes, poems and songs that evoke all that the language can carry and keep it resonant anywhere. Its constant, vital use maintains the community that moved with it.

When Father Elemo Tapim and his gangs of Eastern Torres Strait Islanders began work constructing the massive Queensland and Western Australian inland rail system, they documented every mile in a remarkable collection of songs in the Meriam language. The songs were contemporary folk songs in their time and made sure the Eastern Torres Strait Island languages arrived on the mainland strong, and more
importantly, vital.

Yalibirri Luujumayinha PDF Print E-mail

Yalibirri Luujumayinha
The Lost Emu
The Lost Emu

Yalibirri nhanhagula ngarnamarda baba. Marlu banha, yamaji banha yanayimarda muwangga babawu ngarnagu.

Yalyba Yamaji yanayimarda babagi, warlanu banha, gurrardu banha, gurndi banhanyuwa. Guwi baba ngarnanyu thana warnijana; warlanu
warnijana, gurrardu warnijana, gurndi banha, warlanu banha warnijana.

Yalibirri bagarna babathanu jamarniguluba.Babathanu Yamajilu thathana yalyba yalibirri nganhungu, gudiya managu.
Gudiyanha yalibirri birugulayinha marlaguba jamarnigulu.

Nyurdaba jamarninha mawungu gugurrba. Ngardi jamarninha. Banha yalibirri birugulayinha marlaguba gugurr yana jamarnigulu.

Balu bugananganha! Jamarninha, jamarninha, jamarninha, jamarninha, winthuba wajiyinha.

Home Signs: Indigenous Sign Language in Cape York PDF Print E-mail

Home Signs
Irene Salee
Young Indigenous Writers Initiative

This story has been written with the support of the Young Indigenous Writers Initiative, a mentoring program run by FATSIL that helps young Indigenous writers to develop their writing skills and get their work published. The aim of the program is to foster and promote the new generation of Indigenous writers in Australia. Irene (Kindau) Salee, from Injinoo, a community on the tip of Cape York, is our Young Indigenous Writers Initiative participant and Voice of the Land contributor for this issue.