Yuin

This unit has certainly opened my eyes to my lack of knowledge of Aboriginal affairs and language, and a similar lack of knowledge in the non- Aboriginal community. I don’t know that this ignorance is studied or intentional or whether it’s plain old-fashioned apathy. I have gained a lot but like all students I realise I have a lot more to learn. I hope that my increased interest adds something to my community’s knowledge. I have talked to people from the local Aboriginal group, I have looked into local aboriginal history and I have discussed with local teachers about their attitudes to the subject and have received immense support. I have to say that when I approached the local library I can’t say I was surprised to find only four document relating to Aboriginal languages and two of those did not relate to the local languages, one, only indirectly, related as a section of a book and the last was a book produced by the local primary school. That book;

Tathra Public School. (2014). Dhurga and Thaua Aboriginal Languages, Pambula, Excell Printing,

is an interesting introduction to local Aboriginal words used by the two groups represented locally as sub-groups of the Yuin people. It is interesting in that unlike similar earlier wordlists it gives a pronunciation guide. The second book is;

Wafer, J. and Lissarrage, A. (2008). A Handbook of Aboriginal languages of NSW and the ACT. Sydney. Brudelin Maclean Publishing Services (for the Muurbay Aboriginal and Cultural Group).

It is a scholarly exercise in accounting for the state of the languages of NSW and the ACT. In my opinion it is a depressing litany of dead and dying languages of which the non-Aboriginal community should be utterly ashamed. The sooner Aboriginal languages are given official status, enshrined in the constitution, the better. It would at least afford them recognition as valid means of communication and generate appropriate government support

Malcolm Privett.

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