Friday, 18 November 2016 15:57

Gobata! Wathaurong Language Program

Uncle David Tournier has been involved in language all his life. His Country involves three places; Narrindjerri (Mothers side-Tateari Clan), Yorta Yorta (Birth Fathers side), Wathaurong (Great, Great, Great Grand Father).

Gobata! is the Wathaurong Language class Uncle David Tournier runs every Thursday. The class has a mix of people including school teachers, members of the Geelong One Fire Reconciliation Group, Aboriginal people and people from the Geelong community. Uncle David is keen to teach anyone who is interested and welcomes all to his classes.

Uncle David says that language is moving along well in Geelong, “people from the community are flooding in with language requests and various schools are screaming out for language.” He is thankful to be working closely with his daughter on language.

“My biggest worry is that when I retire who will continue my work? It’s so good that my daughter Myranda is taking on language responsibilities. We have always had keepers, the keeper of songs, of clapsticks, of stories, this hasn’t changed today and we need to continue that cultural way of doing things. I hope she can continue the language program” said Uncle David.

As well as the language program Uncle David works tirelessly on a range of other projects including handling community translation and naming requests, working with local artists on various projects, sharing knowledge out on country, re-telling creation stories in Wathaurong for upcoming publications and working on translations for the Victorian Essential Learning Standards (VELS) to assist in getting Wathaurong language into local school curriculums.

Uncle David is also working with the Wathaurong Children’s Choir whose members have developed their own song about the magpie. David is working on translating this song into Wathaurong which he will then teach to the children. The choir have also worked with primary school students to submit a song to the Marrin Gamu song competition hosted by First Languages Australia.

Wathaurong Language Classes run each Thursday from 11am – 12pm at the Wathaurong Co-operative in Geelong. These classes are open to anyone interested in learning language. To register your interest, call Meryl on 5277 0044. 

For those interested in keeping up to date with Wathaurong language news, you can join Uncle David’s Language Clan group on Facebook

Learn more about Uncle David Tournier in this story Deadly Dad on the Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-operative website

Watch this video of Uncle David reading Yengying Karroong

Wathaurong Community Newsletter

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VACL Board member Brendan Kennedy has published a collection of his songs and stories in Tati Tati, Mutti Mutti and Wadi Wadi languages.The publication titled Wangilatha Wangu Kiyawatha is a beautiful collection of Language songs and stories about the land, water, and animals of the Murray River people and Mallee people (Brendan's mother's people).  

The book is brimming with colour, illustrated with Brendan's digital imaging artworks.

VACL is proud to have been part of the project. Our Project Officer, Mandy Nicholson, worked hard with Brendan to help him realise the publication, and to select nine of the dozens of stories he had to share.

To the right is a video of Brendon reading one of the stories included in the book:

Contact VACL to find out more about the publication.


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Wednesday, 03 December 2014 12:03

Students bring Gunditjmara QBooks to life!

VACL staff were blown away this week by students at Warrnambool Primary School, who did a fantastic job of recording narration for the QBooks project. The QBooks feature stories illustrated and narrated by the students themselves in both English and Peek Wurrung and are designed to foster the students appreciation for, and understanding of, traditional Gunditjmara languages in their area.

Students Airlie O’Brian and Simon Young were chosen to narrate the two stories which will feature in the Gunditjmara QBooks series. Both the students showed an amazing ability to pick up and speak the Peek Wurrung language, reflecting their dedication and enthusiasm for this exciting project.

With little prior exposure to Peek Wurrung, the students received pronunciation coaching from VACL’s own Joel Wright in the weeks leading up to the recording. On the day of the performance both students were very impressive; mastering the pronunciation and showing their pride for the project.

Airlie narrated The Lone Little Seagull by the Hopkins River. This story was written and illustrated by Grade 4 students of Warrnambool Primary School and focuses on reconciling differences and forming friendships.

Simon narrated How the Gundijmara got Fire, a Gunditmara Creation Story illustrated by the primary school students.

VACL is very excited to be working with Warrnambool Primary School on this project which will be available to download from the Apple App store early next year.

For more information on the up and coming QBooks click here

For more information about the Schools Digital Resource Project click here.

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Sharing some snaps from VACL's trip to Warrnambool & Heywood this week.

VACL is working with Warrnambool Primary School and Heywood & District Secondary College to create some exciting new digital story books.  Last week VACL members Paul Paton, Joel Wright and Emma Hutchinson, together with Victoria University student Ben Townsend, headed up to Warrnambool to speak with the staff and students of Warrnambool Primary School and Heyward District Secondary College.

The books will feature Gunditjmara Creation stories, illustrated and narrated by the students themselves. VACL is very excited to be collaborating with the schools and community to help see their creation stories come to life!

For more information about the Gunditjmara Qbooks Project click here.

For more information about the Schools Digital Resource Project click here.


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