On the 5th of October the fourth annual Tanderrum Ceremony took place at Federation Square. This ceremony is a traditional Eastern Kulin gathering comprising of 5 language groups, Woiwurrung (Wurundjeri), Boon wurrung, Taungurung, Dja Dja wurrung and Wathaurong. VACL assisted with extra support in language translations, pronunciation for each of the language groups, as well as the recorded voiceover component. VACL staff who are part of the Kulin Nation also participated in the ceremony.

In Tanderrum, the lore of the creator spirit Bunjil is acknowledged and the vibrant living culture of this country is celebrated. Tanderrum is significant as the ceremony wasn’t practiced in Melbourne between 1835 and 2013. Now every year the different groups of the Kulin nation meet to practise in the months leading up to the ceremony where the hours of work are well and truly evident in this outstanding event. Tanderrum attracts thousands of people to witness the rich linguistic and cultural knowledge of the people of the Kulin Nation in the combination of traditional songs, dances and ceremony.

To see more images from Tanderrum click here

To watch a video from the making of Tanderrum click here

Published in Blog
Thursday, 05 May 2016 15:58

Melton West Primary School

Mathew Gardiner with student Mary-Jane ABC Clare RawlinsonThe Melton West Primary School Language Program began in April 2016, with Mathew Gardiner teaching Woi wurrung, the language of the Wurundjeri people on whose land the school is situated. Prep students are currently engaged in a 10 week program where they are learning kinship & relationships, colour & counting, body parts and greeting phrases. Wurundjeri Educator Mathew Gardiner says the "first day the kids and I hit it off like a house on fire, also with the teachers I received a very warm welcome by all. I am very happy and proud". Both teachers and students are excited to have this new program up and running in the school. 

To read more about the program at ABC News click here

Read about Mathew's success in the Star Weekly click here

Speaker iconListen to Mathew on 774 ABC Melbourne 

Photo: Wurundjeri man and Woi wurrung educator Mathew Gardiner with Melton West Primary School student Mary Jane 

Photo curtesty of ABC Local, Clare Rawlinson

Published in Projects
Thursday, 25 February 2016 13:24

Dhumba-djerring Language Networking Event

Last week VACL hosted a language networking event Dhumba-djerring (talk together, from the Boonwurrung language) in Fitzroy. Language workers from across Victoria gathered over two days to participate in workshops and discussions and to share their experiences of awakening language in their communities and schools. It was positive to see young people and some new faces at this event as more and more people gain confidence and interest in our languages. Among the presentations were Brendan Kennedy's lesson on morphology, Aunty Doris Paton speaking about policies and strategies which have shaped the teaching of language in schools, Harley-Dunolly-Lee sharing his experiences of working with the Dja Dja Wurrung on sounds and spellings, Kris Eira on the issues and considerations when creating community dictionaries and Jenny Gibson who introduced the group to VACL's presence on Victorian Collections online. On the Thursday evening Paul Paton, Mandy Nicholson and Joel Wright took part in a panel discussion with Gregory Phillips to a packed audience at the Wheeler Centre. 

Scroll down to see a video and images from Dhumba-djerring

For information on upcoming VACL presentations Reawakenings: the revival of Victorian Aboriginal languages click here

Published in Blog
Friday, 05 February 2016 11:59

Woi wurrung

Woi wurrung Digital Resources

On Monday the 20th of April 2015, VACL launched three interactive digital storybooks at Thornbury Primary School, featuring Creation Stories of the Wurundjeri People in both Woi wurrung and English. As part of the project 15 Indigenous students from Thornbury Primary School were selected to create illustrations and record narratives for the digital storybooks. The student’s creative use of language, art and technology has enabled the telling of Balayang Wurrgarrabil-u (Why Bats are Black), Dulaiwurrung Mungka-nj-bulanj (How the Platypus Was Made) and Gurrborra Nguba-nj Ngabun Baanj (Why the Koala doesn’t Drink Water) to a global audience.

Available on the App Store

Click the icon above to download the apps.

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

 Teacher Resources

Woi wurrung Language Worker Mandy Nicholson is currently developing teacher resources which accompany these apps. Check back soon for updates, or contact the VACL office on 9600 3811 for more details. 

guborra icon copydulaiwurrung icon copybalayang icon copy 

Published in Projects
Friday, 04 September 2015 15:27

Indigenous Literacy Day at Fitzroy Library

Last week on Wednesday September 2nd, Indigenous Literacy Day, Fitzroy Library visitors were treated to an Aboriginal Language Awareness Workshop presented by Wurundjeri woman and VACL Project Officer Mandy Nicholson. On a wet cold evening, more than 40 attendees enjoyed over an hour of learning more about Aboriginal Language in Victoria. 

Mandy spoke about her own language journey, about links to culture and language, current language renewal projects and the state of language revival in Victoria, activities relevant to language training, the success of the Woi wurrung Language Program at Thornbury Primary School and the importance of multi-lingual education. The audience was then treated to a Woi wurrung language activity called 'aliens', followed by an extensive Q & A.

"Language was forcibly stopped and lucky we've got enough records that we can bring back our languages". - Mandy Nicholson

To read more about the Language Awareness Workshops offered by VACL click here

Speaker icon

You can hear the full audio of the workshop here

 

 

Published in Blog
Wednesday, 22 April 2015 14:19

Woi wurrung Language Goes Digital!

Ancient Language in Modern Times: WOI WURRUNG LANGUAGE GOES DIGITAL

Thornbury Primary School students make giant leaps for digital language reclamation in Victoria! On Monday the 20th of April VACL launched three interactive digital storybooks at Thornbury Primary School, featuring Creation Stories of the Wurundjeri People in both Woi wurrung and English. 

The  release of the Apps marks Thornbury Primary School’s fourth year of commitment to teaching and learning Woi wurrung, with the support of key Wurundjeri Elders.

As part of the project 15 Indigenous students from Thornbury Primary School were selected to create illustrations and record narratives for the digital storybooks. The student’s creative use of language, art and technology has enabled the telling of Balayang Wurrgarrabil-ut (Why Bats are Black), Dulaiwurrung Mungka-nj-bulanj (How the Platypus Was Made) and Gurrborra Nguba-nj Ngabun Baanj (Why the Koala doesn’t Drink Water) to a global audience.

VACL, VAEAI and Thornbury Primary School celebrated the launch of the Apps with a special assembly at Thornbury Primary School. The assembly was attended by all students, interested parents and special guests including VACL Board Members Vince Kirby, Uncle Sandy Atkinson and Brendan Kennedy; VACL staff Paul Paton (Executive Officer), Mandy Nicholson (Project Officer & Woi wurrung Language Worker), Jenny Gibson (Administrative Officer) and Emma Hutchinson (Digital Projects Officer); Aunty Geraldine Atkinson (President VAEAI); Uncle Lionel Bamblett (General Manager VAEAI); Vaso Elefsiniotis (Policy & Research Officer VAEAI); Uncle Phil Cooper (Koorie/Woi wurrung Educator Thornbury Primary School); Julie Reid (Languages Program Manager VCAA); Maree Dellora (Languages Curriculum Manager VCAA) and Karen Mazurek (Principal Thornbury Primary School).

The development of these digital resources will support language reclamation and revitalisation activities in Victorian schools and communities. VACL would like to thank everyone who attended the launch and offer a special congratulations to all the students involved in creating these groundbreaking new resources.

The Apps are available now for FREE download at the App Store, for use on iPad (coming to iPhone soon).

Available on the App Store

 

 For more information about the Schools Digital Resource Project click here

To see a selection of images from the apps and the launch, scroll down.

Published in Blog
Thursday, 20 November 2014 17:01

Barriers to Education

Welcome to the classroom of Aunty Fay and Mandy, where you won’t hear a word of English!

 

This week at Federation Square, Save the Children hosted a variety of workshops to highlight some the difficult situations faced by children all around the world, including sanitation, war and conflict and inadequate school facilities. VACL staff Aunty Fay Stewart-Muir and Mandy Nicholson teamed up with Save the Children to highlight some of the barriers faced by children when it comes to education.

 

In this workshop, students stepped into a classroom taught by a teacher who was speaking a language they didn't understand, in this case either Woi Wurrung or Boon Wurrung, and asked if they had any idea what was going on. This prompted the kids to contemplate many questions, including - do you think if you came to school everyday, and you couldn't understand what the teacher was saying, would you want to go to school? Would you feel confused? How can this problem be solved? What could make it easier?

 

This lesson was one well learned by the children who were really responsive to the exercise offering insightful and thoughtful responses to these challenges.

 

These issues are universal and relate to children overseas, children coming to Australia and Indigenous children in Australia whose 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th language is English.

 

Congratulations to Save the Children staff and volunteers, teachers and children from a variety of Primary and Secondary schools across Melbourne, VACL staff Mandy and Aunty Fay, and all others involved, for a very worthwhile event. 

 

 

Published in Blog

Our very own Mandy Nicholson has created new signs for the Wurundjeri Stories Indigenous Signage Trail at Warrandyte State Park. Nicholson helped revitalise the outdated 'past tense' signage, to show that Wurundjeri is still a living, relevant culture and language. 

"Woi wurrung [Wurundjeri language] is used throughout all the signs to raise awareness of our language and that we still use it" she says.

The Wurundjeri stories trail comprises of six signs which share knowledge on Wurundjeri history, culture, traditional life and people associated with this sacred site

Catch the full story here:

http://leader.newspaperdirect.com/epaper/showlink.aspx?bookmarkid=RDM6VZL0NBJ4&preview=article&linkid=437e2a6d-502e-40c3-af27-5f65324b0906&pdaffid=B6IDvTzUhXA%2bYodaGGDWRA%3d%3d

Published in Blog