Lan­guage key in Wel­come to Coun­try

Midwest Times - - NEWS - Ge­off Vi­vian

The Bundi­yarra Abo­rig­i­nal Cor­po­ra­tion hosted a Wel­come to Coun­try cer­e­mony for vis­i­tors to Ger­ald­ton’s West Tech Fo­rum last Fri­day.

Wilunyu-Wa­jarri woman Na­dine Tay­lor gave the wel­com­ing speech.

Bluff Point Pri­mary School chil­dren then sang a Wa­jarri lan­guage song fol­lowed by a longer speech by Irra Wangga Lan­guage Cen­tre man­ager and Bundi­yarra board mem­ber Jen­nifer Gre­gory-Knive­ton.

Ms Gre­gory-Knive­ton told the guests Bundi­yarra, which means “safe place”, be­gan 20 years ago as a re­source cen­tre for the Abo­rig­i­nal com­mu­nity.

It is the par­ent body of the Irra Wangga Lan­guage Cen­tre, which has pub­lished sev­eral dic­tio­nar­ies of lo­cal lan­guages and is de­vel­op­ing other re­sources such as the Wa­jarri app to help adults and chil­dren learn them.

Ms Gre­gory-Knive­ton said plans in­cluded we­bi­nars, dig­i­tal books and more on­line re­sources.

The Bundi­yarra com­plex in Utakarra is also home to the Ger­ald­ton Street­work Abo­rig­i­nal Cor­po­ra­tion, which aims to meet young Ya­maji peo­ples’ needs.

Ms Gre­gory-Knive­ton said Bundi­yarra de­pended on pri­vate phi­lan­thropy and Govern­ment sup­port, and for that rea­son fi­nances for var­i­ous pro­grams and projects ebbed and flowed with each Govern­ment. “What we tell them is we don’t want a hand­out, we want a hand up,” Ms Gre­gory-Knive­ton said.

Bundi­yarra is plan­ning its 20th an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tions in 2018.

Pictures: Ge­off Vi­vian

Bluff Point Pri­mary School chil­dren sang a Wa­jarri lan­guage wel­come song.

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