Community Launch of the Gumbaynggirr Dreaming Story Collection

It was wonderful to be part of our community coming together yesterday for the launch of the Gumbaynggirr Yuludarla Jandaygam! (Gumbaynggirr Dreaming Story Collection)

As a welcoming smoking ceremony was performed, seating needed to be added as large crowds of people gathered at the Nambucca Community & Arts Centre to celebrate and support local traditions. We listened to co-editors Gary Williams, Dallas Walker and Steve Morelli as well as artist Shaa Smith, speaking to the importance of honoring the knowledge and heritage of their people by the renewal of traditional languages.

The Orara High dance groups Girrwa Galambilanyarr & Jalay Jalay were spectacularly entertaining and we were treated to a vocal performance by the Woolgoolga High School Gumbaynggir Language Choir.

It was lovely to see young people in our community expressing themselves through such creative mediums.

Language teacher Clarke Webb told us a complete story in the Gumbaynggirr dialect; it was almost a little overwhelming to hear the beautiful tone and resonance of this language spoken in full, with members of the audience replying back in kind.

This launch was just what our local community needs at this moment to showcase our rich, home-grown heritage and bring people together in positive celebration.

The Gumbaynggir Dream Story Collection is made up of Dreaming stories passed down to Elders and recorded by researches in the 20th century. These are written in traditional language, with English translations. The book also contains descriptions of important language features and background cultural material.

This is a significant publication which aids our local Gumbaynggir people to reconnect with their heritage and for others who want to learn more about our local culture.

You can find out more about this collection online at the National Library of Australia

Amanda is the Executive Manager Business Development for CHESS Employment working to progress initiatives and opportunities to support growth and diversification. With a background in Social Science, Amanda came to Australia 20 years ago having worked with refugees in Sudan and at a welfare clinic in Malawi, Southern Africa.