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South West Aboriginal Language Program


Address | SWALP C/O VACL 70 Hanover Street, Fitzroy, Victoria 3065

Telephone | 03 9600 3811

Fax | 03 9600 4277

Email | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Coordinator / Language Worker | Joel Wright

About the Program

Language reclamation and regeneration in the south west has been mainly driven by Elder Mr Ivan Couzens over the past 15 years or so. He has worked on the VACL committee and a local language committee, and with VACL support, in 1996, published our Keerray Woorroong and related dialects dictionary. Since then language development has been sporadic and implemented voluntarily by a few community members, in particular within the Warrnambool and Framlingham communities.

A growing awareness and need for community language programs within other communities in the region, the recognition of the need to share resources and the need for direction and planning has seen the recent establishment of South West Aboriginal Languages Committee.

This is a regional committee representing the following communities:

  • Portland
  • Heywood
  • Hamilton
  • Warrnambool
  • Framlingham
  • Otways / Colac / Camperdown

Languages responsible for:

  • Gadubanud
  • Gulidjan
  • Djargurd Wurrong
  • Keerray Woorroong
  • Woolwoowurrong
  • Koorn Kopan Noot
  • Kee Wurrong
  • Peek Wurrong
  • Dharwurd Wurrong

This committee has been established to address those collective needs and the proposal following is what has been prioritized for the following 2 years.


The SWALC will act as a regional resource in the development of CLPs in those communities within our committee area of responsibility.

  • To act as a management group and provide resourcing, advice and development to four languages to our communities
  • To develop policies and cultural protocols for the development and use of our languages
  • To secure funding for programs
  • To manage/co-ordinate language programs for our communities
  • To provide training for community language workers
  • To support Aboriginal Educators in the delivery of Language in the schools
  • To monitor Aboriginal Language Programs in schools/kindergartens
  • To become an incorporated organisation
  • To inform and promote the SWALC to our communities and the broader community
  • Establish relationships/partnerships with local, regional and state government agencies
  • Establish relationships/partnerships with local, regional and state Aboriginal organisations

Digital Resources in Gunditjmara Languages

Students at Heywood & District Secondary College, Warrnambool Primary School, Merrivale Primary School and Warrnambool East Primary School have all contributed to a suite of six Aboriginal language apps featuring local Gunditjmara languages.

The Apps are available now for download at the App Store, for use on iPad, iPhone & iPod Touch.

Available on the App Store

gunditjmara app icons




VACL welcomes all comments and feedback on this page, however if you have a specific language enquiry please click here and complete our Submit a Language Query online application form.