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Thornbury Primary School

Thornbury Primary School Language Program

Thornbury Class

Thornbury Primary School commenced their Woiwurrung Language Program mid-May 2012 targeted  to all prep - grade 2 students and extended to include older classes through the regular Indigenous Studies program at the school. Woiwurrung is the language of the Wurundjeri people, Traditional Owners of the land the school is situated on.

With the support of key Elders of the Wurundjeri Council, lessons are conducted by Koorie Educator Phil Cooper, Victorian Aboriginal Corporation for Languages Project Officer, Wurundjeri woman and Woiwurrung language specialist Mandy Nicholson, together with LOTE teacher Leeann Sartorel. Also on board is Victorian Aboriginal Education Association Inc. (VAEAI) representative and linguist, Vaso Elefsiniotis. Lessons to date have focused around Wurundjeri people, language, land, stories, language games, greetings, introductions and goodbyes, including the learning of a welcome song 'Wominjeka' and a goodbye song, 'Twaganin', to help with teaching, learning and remembering. Another popular way for the children to learn is through the translation of popular children's songs. The children performed some of these songs in front of almost 200 delegates at the 2013 Puliima National Indigenous Language and Technology Forum in Melbourne.

The Woiwurrung Language Program also includes whole school Wurundjeri cultural workshops conducted by Wurundjeri Elder, Bill Nicholson, which enables an ongoing relationship with the school and Wurundjeri.  The Program has proven so successful that it has been offered an additional year of funding on top of the initial two year pilot.

More information about the Woiwurrung Language Program at Thornbury Primary can be found below:


Woi wurrung digital storybooks are available now for FREE download at the App Store, for use on iPad.

For more about the launch click here, or download the media release pdfhere.

Article in the Thornbury Leader



Available on the App Store






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 Thornbury kids performing 'Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes' infront of delegates at Puliima 2013