The Wiradjuri community of western New South Wales now has the opportunity to learn their language and culture in an integrated learning nest catering for people of all ages.
By
Catherine Liddle

Source:
NITV News
28 Oct 2013 - 5:37 PM  UPDATED 28 Oct 2013 - 11:21 PM

The Wiradjuri community of western New South Wales now has the opportunity to learn their language and culture in an integrated learning nest catering for people of all ages.

Opened in Dubbo last week, the Yarradmarra Centre is being hailed as the first of its kind in the state, with many more to come.

The new intergenerational language and culture nest will save the Wiradjuri language which is currently listed as endangered.

New South Wales Indigenous Affairs Minister Victor Dominello says the nest, which is a major initiative of the state government's Indigenous affairs strategy, was an obvious solution to revitalising traditional language.

"When I first came out to the community two-and-half years ago, when I asked them of all the things they wanted, inevitably they kept saying to me, 'Minister it's all about language and culture it's so important to us'", says Mr Dominello.

The Minister also stressed the importance of agencies - like the state government, TAFE New South Wales, public schools and the northern Wiradjuri people - collaborating as one to strengthen the nests revitalisation efforts.

"For the first time, we are now forming partnerships, not between traditional allies but between people who have come from different paths, and that's why these partnerships are so strong," says Mr Dominello.

Traditional owners say the establishment of a learning and culture nest has been a long time coming.

It's hoped the learning nest will help improve the knowledge and competency in local Aboriginal languages, strengthen identity, pride and resilience and contribute to increased school attendance.

More language nests are also planned for the Gamilaraay, Gumbaynggir, Bundjalung and Paarkintji/Barkindji peoples.