HomeHub celebrates NAIDOC week
It’s NAIDOC week, and this year’s theme – ‘Our Languages Matter’ – is shining the spotlight on the people and programs that are working to “preserve, revitalise or record” the Indigenous languages of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander friends.
“Aboriginal and Torres Strait languages are not just a means of communication, they express knowledge about everything: law, geography, history, family and human relationships, philosophy, religion, anatomy, childcare, health, caring for country, astronomy, biology and food,” says National NAIDOC Committee Co-Chair Anne Martin.
“Each language is associated with an area of land and has a deep spiritual significance and it is through their own languages, that Indigenous nations maintain their connection with their ancestors, land and law.”
Patrick Mills – NAIDOC Person of the Year
Congratulations Patrick “Patty” Mills, who was awarded the 2017 NAIDOC Person of the Year. A Muralag man from the Torres Strait, and Ynunga man from South Australia, Patrick, who currently plays with the San Antonio Spurs in America’s National Basketball Association (NBA), is the first Indigenous player to represent Australian men’s basketball at three consecutive Olympic games – and is preparing for this fourth in Tokyo 2020.
Premiered last year on SundanceTV in the United States and then on ABC in Australia, Cleverman is a six-part, futuristic drama series that reimagines stories of the Aboriginal Dreamtime. Based on an original concept by Ryan Griffen, the drama provides a refreshing, thought-provoking look at Aboriginal mythology and storytelling.
Indigenous meanings of Australian town names
NAIDOC Anne Martin wants us to look out for the Indigenous names in our local community, the ones that have inspired the names for our “suburbs, rivers, mountains and parks”.
“Noticing and paying attention to these words will generate greater appreciation and respect for the significance of language among all Australians,” she says.
Here are a few names you might recognise, which we found among this great list compiled by SBS:
- Bundaberg, QLD
A multilingual name; the city name is thought to be a combination of bunda, the Kabi Kabi word for an ‘important man’, and the suffix -berg meaning ‘town’ from the Old English beorg (a hill).
- Canberra, ACT
Thought to mean ‘meeting place’ in the local Ngunnawal language.
- Geelong, VIC
Coming from the Wathaurung word, Jillong, meaning ‘tongue’ which may refer to the tongue-shaped of the part of the bay where Geelong is situated.
- Kakadu, NT
Steams from Gagudju, the language spoken by the people who lived north of the Park. This language is no longer spoken in the region.
- Kalgoorlie, WA
Steams from the Wangai word Karlkurla or Kulgooluh, meaning ‘place of the silky pears’ referring to local edible fruit.
- Katoomba, NSW
Comes from a Gundungurra word meaning ‘falling water tumbling over a hill’ and takes its name from a waterfall that drops into the Jamison Valley in the region.
- Legana, TAS
As the town sits at the point where the Tamar River becomes fresh water, Legana means ‘fresh water’ in the local Tyerrernotepanner (Palawa) language.
- Marrawah, TAS
Peerapper language name for ‘eucalypt tree’.
- Mandurah, WA
A Noongar word originally as mandjar meaning, ‘meeting place’.
- Noosa, QLD
A Kabi Kabi word meaning ‘shady place’.
- Oodnadatta, SA
Derives from the Arrernte word utnadata, a word for ‘mulga blossom’.
- Whyalla, SA
Comes from a Barngarla word meaning, ‘place with deep water’.