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Now to the story...

Book to boost indigenous language

Extract from Australian Broadcasting Corporation - ABC Online, on May 7th, 2002.

The revival of indigenous languages in the Walgett region, in northern NSW, has been furthered by a new book containing 100 words of the Gamilaraay/ Yuwaalaraay language.

The Gamilaraay language was once spoken in a wide area from Walgett in the west to Tamworth in the east and from Moree in the north to Coonabarabran in the south.

Today, it is taught in schools in Walgett, Goodooga and Lightning Ridge.

The new book comes with a compact disc, so students can both read and listen to Gamilaraay.

The book gives the Gamilaraay words for body parts, family and animals.

The organiser of the teaching aid, Don Lillyman, says it will make an excellent addition to the schools' teaching programs.

"On the CD we've got extracts from tapes recorded in the '70s of people who were very fluent in Gamilaraay/Yuwaalaraay and we were able to get extracts from them explaining what the words were, how they are pronounced and what they mean," he said.

Mr Lillyman says the book is the result of 18 months work and has gained strong support and input from Gamilaraay community elders.

"There's been a revival in language and cultural activities for indigenous people," he said.

"Here in the Gamilaraay area we think we are at the forefront of language and cultural activity, we've got a good program here."

He says it has given indigenous students a sense of pride and ownership.

"We've got a couple of books published already, as well as dictionaries," he said.

"There is a lot of interest in it and the children are enjoying it very much."

The teaching aid will be launched for sale today for $25.



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