Burri burri (whale) is a big part of Dharawal culture. Ngia (I) learned that me and my siblings aren’t Dharawal but we have learned their important connection to gurigurrah (sea) and ngura (Country), just as we have in our Tongan culture. Connection between our cultures is so much clearer now and I’ve seen how similar we are in terms of tradition and respect for family and Country. We value our bubang, our nguru (Country) our gurrigurrah (sea) and our yabun (music), relying on them to teach us, about us.

~ Tahanni (student participant in pilot workshop)

Dharawal Workshop in June 2023

In June 2023, a pilot workshop was held on Dharawal Country with young First Nations students from years 3 - 10 from Wollongong and Shoalhaven communities, with family members, spent a day with Elders, language custodians and cultural knowledge holders Jacob Morris, Aunty Jodi Edwards, Aunty Lauren Chapman, Layne Brown and Daryn McKenny, poet Kirli Saunders, and Dharawal born Warrimay poet and musician Nicole Smede.

Learning and passing down knowledge together, Dharawal whale dreaming, story, song and dance was shared, as well as knowledge of whale songline, migration, and marine health. Students created poems in response weaving in Gumea Dharawal and Dharawal language.

Short video filmed during the June 2023 Dharawal pilot workshop.

Directed by Luke Agius
Produced by Rami Fischler
Song composition by Nicole Smede
Poem and reading by Indiana Lane

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