The Queensland Council of Social Service (QCOSS) explored Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages as part of NAIDOC Week 2017.

The theme of NAIDOC Week is Our Languages Matter. 

Watch as staff from QCOSS attempt to the pronunciation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander greetings and discuss why preserving languages is important.

We apologise in advance if we have been unable to pronounce words correctly.

* Music credit - Chris Tamwoy, Unity to Brothers


Mark Henley: So the reason we're doing this is to get a better understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as this nation's first people. Being respectful about their culture and their language and how important that is to them.  The more we understand, the more we can connect with them, the better we'll be at better understanding about how we respond to the needs of the people.

Marie Noy: Language I think to me is a means of communication and it does hold a certain cultural significance to different communities and we at QCOSS decided to explore Indigenous languages as part of our celebration of NAIDOC week and to highlight the many, many Indigenous languages that were once spoken in our country.

Karen Murphy: This is the Kalibamu language from the Gulf of Carpentaria and around Burketown and I say good day, Mun-ya Mun-ja.

Tina Fairley: This is the Yuri language from the Mackay Central Queensland region Bin-bi car-ri, g'day.

Mark Henley: So, I'm doing the language group from Western Queensland which is from Yandruwandha and the word for good day is patji dritji.

Kamil Shah: Language is also perhaps one of the primary ways of resistance and revival so in that way the revival of language is also the revival of ways of knowing and being in this world. Those are extraordinarily important for us in this day and age when we face such monumental problems.

Scott Shearer: I'm speaking Yugambeh language from the Logan / Gold Coast region - ying-ga-rri which is hello.

Julie Couper: I'm speaking the Guugu Yimithirr language from the Cook Town and Hopevale region. Ga-dii Wawu-wi.

Marie Noy: The language is Wiri from the Central Queensland region and in Wiri good day it said as Bunyiba garibiri.

Jen Huxley: Mita dju is good day in the Gudang dialect which is from the tip of Cape York.

Laura Barnes: Meriam Mir language from the Eastern Torres Strait - maiem means hello.

Fiona Hawthorne: Duungidjawi from the upper Brisbane Valley and galang meng means good day and galang dulara means good morning.

Fiona Hunt: Binbee kurri this is good day from the Ganulu language which is in the Comet River in Central Queensland.

Gina Muller: Balka wittaberri is word for good day in the Goreng Goreng language which is from the Bundaberg region.

Fiona Hawthorne: I find it unconscionable that there are no translators available for energy retailers when their customers ring up and they may come from one of our Aboriginal language groups.

Angela Massey: Gamba daru g'day from the Barrungam language which is from the Dalby / Bunya mountains region.

Rose McGrath: My language is Yinangah. Yinangah is the language around central Queensland, the Longreach area and to say g'day is dhuraburra karri.

Michael Cowan: Kala Lagaw Ya is a language from the Western Torres Straits. Sew ngapa is the word for welcome.

Fiona Hawthorne: From the process of learning putting my tongue around some aboriginal words it's given me a greater understanding of how difficult it might be for them to try and put their tongue around some English words and make themselves understood when they ring up for assistance.

Dietmar Frick: Gudamulli that means good day in Darumbal language which is from the Rockhampton region.

Louise Mullins: I am doing a greeting from Wakka Wakka which is from Burnett River region. Yhurri gurri which means come this way welcome friend. Galang ngunar which means good day.

Kamil Shah: We were having this discussion around how language matters at the same time as our Commonwealth government is putting up a test of ones English language capability as sort of a requirement.

Shelly Karman: Gurumba bigi means good day in Jagara language spoken in the Brisbane area west of Ipswich and the Lockyer Valley.

Carly Hyde: Budabai duru means good day in the Bidjara language which is from the Charleville region.

Luke Baker: My language is Wangkumarra and that language is from western Queensland. Now I'm going to attempt to say good day in Wangkumarra - tharli mura. I hope that's close.

Karen Murphy: Okay, I'll do it again. I can't remember three pieces of information.

Scott Shearer: Ngaio bujera wahlu, I love you.

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