Sparking young people’s interest is a crucial part of creating a deeper understanding of Victorian Aboriginal Language revival in the broader community. On February 23, Mandy presented a workshop to Year 9 students at Mount Scopus Memorial College in Burwood with a focus on language and culture. She explained her Woiwurrung language revival story which generated a lot of questions in relation to Aboriginal language and identity from the students. At the end of the workshop, Mandy taught the students how to sing "heads-shoulders-knees-and-toes" in the Woiwurrung language.
Ittay Flescher, Community Service and Achshav Coordinator at Mount Scopus Memorial College, had attended a VACL event at the State Library of Victoria and was keen to invite VACL to present a cultural program at their school. He described Mandy’s presentation as exceptional due to her “breadth of technical knowledge of the history and related issues, as well as her ability to relay their symbolic cultural significance to the students.” Ittay added that Mandy presented a very difficult history with both honesty and sensitivity, being inclusive and not alienating the audience of students.
Mandy was interested in hearing about the history of Hebrew language revival and the parallels with Victorian Aboriginal languages. Students at Mount Scopus Memorial College were appreciative of this opportunity to discuss language revival with Mandy. Drawing these parallels and discussing difficult history has a positive impact on young peoples’ cross-cultural awareness and understanding.
To see students singing in Woiwurrung click here
For digital resources in Woiwurrung language click here
VACL would like to welcome Mathew Gardiner to the VACL office as part of our team for the next two weeks. Mathew started his internship on the 29th March 2016 as part of his journey towards teaching Woiwurrung at Melton Primary School, commencing on the 13th April 2016.
Mathew Gardiner is a 25 year old Wurundjeri Man. He is the 6th generation of the Terrick line, his ancestor is Annie Borate. William Barak is Annie's brother.
Mathew said "firstly ngoon godgin (Thank You) to Paul Paton and staff for the warm welcome. As a young lad in my youth I have always had a querying mind for Woiwurrung Language but I was a bit apprehensive due to uncertainty. Now I feel as though I have been spiritually drawn or lead now that I am a man, to learn, revive, teach and mostly complete my murrup (soul) with Language. Since learning about the Woiwurrung Language I have felt more connected and grounded to my ancestors, lands, waterways and language more so then ever."
Mathew also said "I have a vision. To pass on my knowledge to the younger generation especially to the disadvantaged Wurundjeri youth who have veered off course from their roots and culture." Mathew hopes that by having language programs this will really help the younger generation to regain respect, self-respect and most importantly a purpose to willingly make something of themselves. He hopes they begin to feel confident and strong in their identity.
Last week VACL hosted a language networking event Dhumba-djerring (talk together, from the Boonwurrung language) in Fitzroy. Language workers from across Victoria gathered over two days to participate in workshops and discussions and to share their experiences of awakening language in their communities and schools. It was positive to see young people and some new faces at this event as more and more people gain confidence and interest in our languages. Among the presentations were Brendan Kennedy's lesson on morphology, Aunty Doris Paton speaking about policies and strategies which have shaped the teaching of language in schools, Harley-Dunolly-Lee sharing his experiences of working with the Dja Dja Wurrung on sounds and spellings, Kris Eira on the issues and considerations when creating community dictionaries and Jenny Gibson who introduced the group to VACL's presence on Victorian Collections online. On the Thursday evening Paul Paton, Mandy Nicholson and Joel Wright took part in a panel discussion with Gregory Phillips to a packed audience at the Wheeler Centre.
Scroll down to see a video and images from Dhumba-djerring
For information on upcoming VACL presentations Reawakenings: the revival of Victorian Aboriginal languages click here
On Monday the 20th of April 2015, VACL launched three interactive digital storybooks at Thornbury Primary School, featuring Creation Stories of the Wurundjeri People in both Woi wurrung and English. As part of the project 15 Indigenous students from Thornbury Primary School were selected to create illustrations and record narratives for the digital storybooks. The student’s creative use of language, art and technology has enabled the telling of Balayang Wurrgarrabil-u (Why Bats are Black), Dulaiwurrung Mungka-nj-bulanj (How the Platypus Was Made) and Gurrborra Nguba-nj Ngabun Baanj (Why the Koala doesn’t Drink Water) to a global audience.
Click the icon above to download the apps.
The Apps are available now for download at the App Store, for use on iPad, iPhone & iPod Touch.
Woi wurrung Language Worker Mandy Nicholson is currently developing teacher resources which accompany these apps. Check back soon for updates, or contact the VACL office on 9600 3811 for more details.
The Digital Children's Book Fair is an international event in Japan celebrating the best digital children's books from around the world. Authors, illustrators, app developers and distributors were brought together at the end of August to select and award stories targeted at children made as ebooks, apps and other formats. The international event is the first of its kind focused on digital publishing for children.
The Wurundjeri Creation Story called Dulaiwurrung Mungka-nj-bulanj (How the Platypus was Made) received an award for excellence in the Digital Children's Book Fair. Congratulations to Thornbury Primary School and Kiwa Digital who worked in collaboration with VACL on this project.
In April 2015 VACL launched three interactive digital storybooks featuring Creation Stories of the Wurundjeri People in both Woiwurrung and English; Balayang Wurrgarrabil-ut (Why Bats are Black), Gurrborra Nguba-nj Ngabun Baanj (Why the Koala Doesn't Drink Water) and Dulaiwurrung Mungka-nj-bulanj (how the Platypus Was Made).
To download the story in the app store by click here
To learn more about this project click here
To read more about the Digital Children's Book Fair click here
Thornbury Primary School students make giant leaps for digital language reclamation in Victoria! On Monday the 20th of April VACL launched three interactive digital storybooks at Thornbury Primary School, featuring Creation Stories of the Wurundjeri People in both Woi wurrung and English.
The release of the Apps marks Thornbury Primary School’s fourth year of commitment to teaching and learning Woi wurrung, with the support of key Wurundjeri Elders.
As part of the project 15 Indigenous students from Thornbury Primary School were selected to create illustrations and record narratives for the digital storybooks. The student’s creative use of language, art and technology has enabled the telling of Balayang Wurrgarrabil-ut (Why Bats are Black), Dulaiwurrung Mungka-nj-bulanj (How the Platypus Was Made) and Gurrborra Nguba-nj Ngabun Baanj (Why the Koala doesn’t Drink Water) to a global audience.
VACL, VAEAI and Thornbury Primary School celebrated the launch of the Apps with a special assembly at Thornbury Primary School. The assembly was attended by all students, interested parents and special guests including VACL Board Members Vince Kirby, Uncle Sandy Atkinson and Brendan Kennedy; VACL staff Paul Paton (Executive Officer), Mandy Nicholson (Project Officer & Woi wurrung Language Worker), Jenny Gibson (Administrative Officer) and Emma Hutchinson (Digital Projects Officer); Aunty Geraldine Atkinson (President VAEAI); Uncle Lionel Bamblett (General Manager VAEAI); Vaso Elefsiniotis (Policy & Research Officer VAEAI); Uncle Phil Cooper (Koorie/Woi wurrung Educator Thornbury Primary School); Julie Reid (Languages Program Manager VCAA); Maree Dellora (Languages Curriculum Manager VCAA) and Karen Mazurek (Principal Thornbury Primary School).
The development of these digital resources will support language reclamation and revitalisation activities in Victorian schools and communities. VACL would like to thank everyone who attended the launch and offer a special congratulations to all the students involved in creating these groundbreaking new resources.
The Apps are available now for FREE download at the App Store, for use on iPad (coming to iPhone soon).
For more information about the Schools Digital Resource Project click here