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Swan Hill Primary School

IMG 0786 webWemba Wemba School Language Program in Swan Hill

On the 7th of May 2014, Swan Hill Primary School became the most recent school to take part in the pilot trial to introduce Aboriginal languages in Victorian schools, following Thornbury Primary School and Heywood & District Secondary College

Wemba Wemba language, traditionally spoken in and around the Swan Hill (Wanilu) region is being taught by Wemba Wemba descendant and LAECG Chair Aunty Stephanie Charles. The program is being taught initially to Year 1 students who have so far learnt about some of the local birds, including the Wemba Wemba totem Wiran the red-tailed black cockatoo, greetings, family members and body parts through repetition, gesture, songs and memory games, including 'heads, shoulders, knees and toes' & 'hokey pokey'.  

Swan Hill Primary School Principal Janet Mullenger-Barnard says "the students are very excited and classroom teachers sit in on the lessons so they can use the language throughout the week".    

Image: Aunty Steph Charles with Swan Hill Primary School students (image courtesy of Janet Mullenger-Barnard)

To learn more about the digital resources which support this course, click here


Hokey Pokey in Wemba Wemba copyright VACL