Jiyagbinggirri Gooniyandi 2019


Continued on-country language and cultural learning for the children of Yiyili

Fishing at Palm SpringsYiyili Community Aboriginal School
Yiyili Community, East Kimberley
February to December 2019

Continuing from the 2017 and 2018 programs, Jiyagbinggbirri Gooniyandi 2019 again plans to take the children of Yiyili Aboriginal Community School on bush trips for two days each term.  This year the trips will take students some Gooniyandi places that are new for the children.

Learning about Gooniyandi country

The Gooniyandi language unit for Semester One is based around an animation by elder Mervyn Street (view the animation trailer here). The animation is based on a true event where an eagle, Wiimirrimirri, picked up a camera placed in Gooniyandi country by rangers.

Mervyn’s work tracks the travels of the eagle and partly in song, partly narration he names and tells the listener about each waterhole of importance along the river and in the hills of Gooniyandi country. It’s a modern day ‘singing the country’ that helps people know the important parts of their country even before they ever visit the site.

The unit will help children be curious about their country and build their knowledge and connection to significant sites. They will learn about some of the unvisited places featured in this animation and travel to some of these harder to access places.

Related language activities

Subject to funding, Yiyili Aboriginal Corporation is planning to start an adult immersion program in June. This is modeled on the highly successful Walalangga Yawuru Ngang-ga language immersion program first undertaken by Yawuru people in 2017.

The program is designed to build a pool of competent adult Gooniyandi speakers who can use the language in multiple domains, on country, at home and at work. The program will be set up to run for two hours a day, five days a week over twelve months. Part of the program will be taking adult students
out on country.

The program aims to have two more enrolled Gooniyandi Trainee Teachers, delivering Gooniyandi lessons to the adult students and running a language nest in the Daycare.

The adult language immersion program will complement the Jiyagbinggirri Gooniyandi 2019 at the school. Exposing children to Gooniyandi being used by adult speakers in everyday life will help them start to speaking it in the home and around the community generally.

Activity Goals

Aims of Jiyagbinggirri Gooniyandi
• Eight bush trips, four with a camp out, for each child in the school.
• Seven adults accompanying each bush trip
• Children and adults use Gooniyandi place names for important sites
• Children can name and describe important sites in Gooniyandi country – younger student describe
four sites, older students eight or more
• Children describe why these sites are important to Gooniyandi – younger student four sites, older
students eight or more
• Each child visits at least one site new to them in the course of the year



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