Celebrating NSW Aboriginal Languages Week

Red Room Poetry news

NSW Aboriginal Languages Week is a time to celebrate and honour Aboriginal Languages and their past, present and future...This year’s theme ‘Languages Alive, Culture Thrives’ highlights the importance of revitalising and reclaiming Aboriginal Languages, and ensuring they are maintained for future generations.

From 22-29 October, NSW Aboriginal Languages Week was celebrated for the first time

In recognition of this year's theme 'Languages Alive, Culture Thrives', we celebrated by highlighting the words and works of First Nations poets previously commissioned by Red Room Poetry:

  1. 'Rain dancing…' by Barkindji man Paul Collis, with Barkindji interpretations provided by Kevin Knight and Wayne Knight, commissioned for Red Room's Poetry in First Languages. A project that celebrates, shares and conserves the knowledge of First Nations languages and culture through poetry.
  2. 'The Healing Way', a poem in the shape of a song by Yuin community leader, knowledge keeper and sharer Warren Ngarrae Foster. ‘The Healing Way’ features Dhurga language, one of the traditional languages of Yuin Country, and was commissioned as part of POEM FOREST Yuin.
  3. 'Ngayrayagal didjurigur (Soon enough)' by Gadigal and Dunghutti man Joel Davison, commissioned for Poetry in First Languages.
  4. 'Bloodlines', a poem written in Gumea Dharawal by proud Gumea Dharawal, Wandawandian and Walbunja woman Lauren Chapman Carpenter for POEM FOREST Yuin.
  5. 'Disconnection' by proud Gunai Woman and award-winning multidisciplinary artist and consultant Kirli Saunders, written in Gundungurra as part of Poetry in First Languages, with Gundungurra interpretations provided by Trish Levett and Aunty Val Mulcahy.
  6. 'Ngapigan (Grandmother)' written in Gathang by proud Birrbay/Dhanggati woman from the mid-north coast of New South Wales, Aunty Anjilkurri Rhonda Radley for the Poetry in First Languages For Our Elders NAIDOC Learning Resource
  7. 'Our Responsibility' by matriarch and medicine woman of Silver City Aboriginal Reserve – the Mission or Mish – on Anaiwan gooten country, Armidale Aunty Kerry Bulloojeeno Archibald Moran, written partially in Anaiwan for the Poetry in First Languages For Our Elders NAIDOC Learning Resource

Celebrating the 2023 NAIDOC Theme ‘For our Elders’, Poetry in First Languages honoured and highlighted Elders through new poem commissions and a new learning resource, created in collaboration with Erin's Learning Channel.

This curriculum-aligned resource invites students and teachers to think, reflect and yarn about the importance of our Elders and what the NAIDOC theme means.