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WayWurru & Dhudhuroa Language Program - Wodonga

About the Program

** THIS PROGRAM IS NOW CLOSED** Please contact VACL for further information.

To retrieve and revive the Dhudhuroa and WayWurru Languages and Culture Yungana Nginda.

The Dhudhuroa and WayWurru Language Program has worked with the involvement and support of Traditional Owners and ensure that all major decisions are endorsed before changes take place.

The local Aboriginal Community believes that " Language and Culture go hand in hand. To develop one is to nurture the other"

This is an exciting time for the program as all the work that has taken place is taking shape into a living language.

The Dhudhuroa and WayWurru Language Program has been in progress since October 1998. Pettina Love and Lisa Arnold job shared as Language workers working two and half days each. In 2000 Pettina went on leave and Jane Walsh joined the program for six months. Pettina left the program in May 2003 and Kristy Arnold entered data for three months. Tom Kinchela joined the program April 2004. Linguist Kris Eira from Adelaide joined the program in March 2004.

An enormous amount of information has been gathered over this period of time from local Historical Societies, Public Records Office, State Library of Victoria, Royal Historical Society, Mitchell Library in NSW, National Library and contributions from local people, researchers and linguists. Correct storage of materials and accessibility was initiated at an early stage. A database using Microsoft Access was created to use to help sort and document the information retrieved. Different tables where created to help sort the type of information. We have additional tables under the headings of Aboriginal People, Settlers and Researchers, Boundaries, Routes and Tribes, Massacres, Battles and Reserves, Sites, Artefacts and Miscellaneous. The program has a separate database to keep track of all the materials retrieved giving each individual file a reference number.

The development of a spelling system (sound system) is in its final stages. This will help us "to write the same sound the same way every time". The next step will be the Dictionary and Grammar which will help us move forward in the development of an interactive CD and learning the local language.

A project we are currently undertaking is collating all the material we have on one of Dhudhuroa Aboriginal informants Neddy Wheeler into a publishable format.

Neddy Wheeler alias Old Ned, Needy Wheeler, Black Neddy born around 1838, Died 1908 Wahgunyah at the age of 70.

Neddy Wheeler was R.H.Mathews language informant for the Dhudhuroa Language. Mathews met with Neddy when he visited Wahgunyah where Neddy was living in 1904. Two hundred and seventeen words and a lot of grammar examples were collected from Neddy at that time.

Click here to view a small video put together by the program

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.