Learning Gathang and Awabakal Language

Learning Gathang and Awabakal Language.

We acknowledge that Fennell Bay PS sits on Worimi and Awabakal land, with the local mob called Awabakal people.

Over the past four years we have learned Awabakal language with Terri Lee Darcy and Uncle Amos Simon, who are endorsed through Miromaa Aboriginal Language and Technology Centre.  It has given pride to our children (Wanai) and staff from all backgrounds to use Awabakal language at our school.

This year Gathang Speaker Uncle Tony Ridgeway is teaching us the Language of the Worimi and Biripi lands, Gathang. Uncle Tony is a Worimi and Biripi man through his mob.

Uncle Tony has lived in Toronto since he was a child. Toronto area is also known as Pondee in the Aboriginal community. Uncle Tony and Fennell Bay PS Aboriginal Education Officer Aunty Niss are both members of Westlakes Elders Group.

Uncle Tony brings a wealth of knowledge to our school. His father Jim Ridgeway painted murals on our walls, which brought great delight to Uncle Tony when walking into our school. This made Uncle Tony feel welcome at our school. Uncle Tony teaches students, or Wanani’s as they are called in Gathang language, singing songs and learning words and phrases.

Stage 2 & 3 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Wanai’s have enjoyed their time talking and learning cultural knowledge from Uncle Tony.  Uncle Tony will continue with us for the next term leading up to our NAIDOC celebrations.

We would like to thank all of our mentors and Elders for guiding us in our learning of culture and language.

Nhunda Kumba Kumba (Thankyou Awabakal)

Muruungbu (Thankyou Gathung language)

Story Submitted by Annissa Harwood from Fennell Bay Public School. Published in 2024.