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Yamakarra everyone, the Ngiyampaa Wangaaypuwan dictionary is now live! You can view this on your computer or a laptop or phone. Please visit:

Reconciliation Week


Yamakarra everyone! 


In honour of Reconciliation Week, we would like to share a song created by Brett Lee, a Ngiyampaa man who lives in Melbourne. 


The song is "Pala, Kana, Puntay, Thina" (Ngiyampaa Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes Song). Please see the link below.


Thanks so much to Brett for creating this amazing song and allowing us to share with you all! 


Yata wiitya

The Ngiyampaa Language Project Newsletter 

Welcome to the Ngiyampaa Project’s first official newsletter!


The Ngiyampaa Language Project started out as a facebook page set up as an important space for ongoing community consultation and sharing with the broader Wangaaypuwan community about Lesley Woods’s PhD research project, the writing of a plain language grammar of Wangaaypuwan.

The Ngiyampaa Language Project has become much bigger than the production of a plain language grammar and now forms an important part of Winangakirri Aboriginal Corporation's (WAC) goals for language and cultural revival in the Plan of Management.

Throughout out the past five years, several important Wangaaypuwan language revival projects that have run alongside the writing of the plain language grammar and these are outlined here!

The Ngiyampaa Dictionary Reprint

The first project was to reprint Tamsin Donaldson’s Wangaaypuwan dictionary Ngiyampaa Wordworld: Thipingku Yuwi, Maka Ngiya, Names of Birds and Other Words (1997) in 2020 (2020), funded by the AIATSIS dictionaries project. This project came about because the original dictionary was long out of print and there was much demand for Wangaaypuwan language resources in the community. The process of having the dictionary reprinted became an important catalyst for engagement of the community. The Wangaaypuwan community got to make important decisions about the format of the new dictionary, and members of the community produced new artwork to be included in the reprint. Some members also made small videos of themselves saying words or small stories, even one in Australian Sign Language. This was collated and put together as a beautiful video, accompanied by the music of a Wangaaypuwan musician for the online launch of the dictionary project in COVID times. The reprint of the dictionary and the high level of community engagement and direct input has been something that the whole community now feels a strong sense of pride about and ownership.


The Ngiyampaa Wangaaypuwan Online Dictionary

Hearing the language being spoken is one of the greatest requests we get on the Ngiyampaa Language Project facebook page. People often said that the written resources didn’t help them ‘say’ or ‘pronounce’ the words that they were reading in the printed dictionary and on the facebook page and other places. The Ngiyampaa Wangaaypuwan online dictionary is an important language revitalisation project  which includes sound files taken from the original recordings of Wangaaypuwan mayi done by the late Tamsin Donaldson. This project was funded by the Aboriginal Languages Trust of NSW[1]. All of these recordings are important to the current day Wangaaypuwan community because all the people in these recordings are the aunties, uncles or grandparents or great grandparents to the current generations. This project came about because the current generation of Wangaaypuwan mayi, do not get the opportunity to ‘hear’ the language so much these days. This project is an ongoing project and currently includes more than 300 sound files since it began. The online dictionary was launched in 2022[2]. The Wangaaypuwan community got to make the decision about whether the online dictionary should be for the community only or if it would be open to the general public. It was decided overwhelmingly that the dictionary should be open to the general public. The online dictionary can be found at Language Projects | WAC (


Welcome to Country

Another important but smaller project was the development of a Welcome to Country and an Acknowledgement of Country in Wangaaypuwan. This project came about because of the number of requests from the community for a welcome and acknowledgement in Wangaaypuwan. I worked with one of our community members Jesse Hodgetts, who was undertaking his PhD at the time on Ngiyampaa songs, on deciding the wording for both pieces. These were then produced using the plain language terminology developed for the grammar and Jesse then made recordings of both pieces. There are very often no one-to-one translations for English words such as ‘welcome’ and ‘acknowledgement’ and so we have come up with Wangaaypuwan words that we thought most closely related to those ideas. The text and recordings for the ‘welcome to country’ can be found at Welcome to Country | WAC (


Placenames Project

Placenames and in particular stories associated with those places, are another important aspect of language and cultural revitalisation. In 2022 we also successfully applied to the Indigenous Languages and the Arts Program[3] to conduct a two year project to record the Wangaaypuwan Elders telling stories of growing up in and around their Wangaaypuwan ngurrampaa and, connecting those stories to placenames as recorded by Tamsin Donaldson (2002). It is hoped that this project will help with the revitalisation of those placenames and potentially bring them back into use. An interactive map will be created alongside a small documentary of the project and placed in an online community archive called Keeping Culture[4]. The interactive map will tell the stories from the documentary and other sources where possible, that are associated with the place, the Wangaaypuwan name and the English name and it will provide, where possible, the co-ordinates to the location of each place.


Keeping Culture Archive

The Keeping Culture community knowledge management system has been set up and is currently being populated. This will be the main hub for community access to all things Wangaaypuwan language and culture. It will house all digital materials that relate to Wangaaypuwan that can be located, such as academic publications, general publications, photographs, any film or documentary footage, genealogies of the Wangaaypuwan families. It is also hoped that it can house an online learning platform for the teaching of language in the future. We will be ready to launch the project soon and will providing community members with personal logins in the near future.


Keeping Place on Mawonga Station IPA

As well as establishing a community knowledge management system, we were also successful with funding to establish a physical Wangaaypuwan keeping place on Mawonga Station. This funding was provided by Creative Capital NSW[5] and will allow our organisation to not only establish a keeping place for artefacts that are found on the Indigenous Protected Area of Mawonga Station but also those that might be repatriated from private collections or museums and the like such as local libraries. We have already had our first donation of two grinding stones and an axe head to go into the keeping place once completed. This project will also include the upgrade of the shearer’s quarters accommodation on the property for use by the community for cultural camps and other cultural activities and for use by visitors to Mawonga Station.


Language Support Officer and Admin Support Officer

Last year, the Ngiyampaa language project has received funding to employ a full-time language support officer and a part time project administration officer. This will greatly assist with building capacity and delivering the outcomes of the Ngiyampaa Language Project into the future. It also speaks to the success of the project overall and the way it is perceived by the Aboriginal Languages Trust, the peak body for funding language projects in NSW.


Community Support

The Ngiyampaa community has been vital is making all of these projects happen – without your ongoing support,  the Ngiyampaa Language project would not be what it is today, so a huge thank you!


[1] Aboriginal Affairs NSW - Aboriginal Languages Trust

[2] Ngiyampaa Wangaaypuwan Dictionary

[3] Indigenous Languages and Arts program | Office for the Arts

[4] Keeping Culture: Community Knowledge Management System

[5] Create NSW

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