Senior students from St Georges Road Primary School have worked with the Bangerang community and SharingStories Foundation to bring to life the creation story of Dunggula—the Murray River.

5 August 2019

Uncle Sandy Atkinson was a proud Bangerang man who was a custodian of the ancient story of Dunggula. He sadly passed away in 2016 after a full life serving his community.

Uncle Sandy was a champion for Aboriginal people and a made great contributions across a number of fields, including arts and education. He was influential at local, state and national level and worked tirelessly to protect and promote Aboriginal culture.

Bangerang community, with St Georges Road Primary School and SharingStories Foundation, have worked over four years to bring Uncle Sandy's story and enduring message of pride in country and community to life.

Grade 5 and 6 students learned the story of Dunggula from Elders on Country and in the classroom.

In turn the students created beautiful artworks, animations and sound designs interpreting the story of Dunggula, a rich creation story covering 2500kms of land and waterways. They learnt how to  animate their creative works which are now accessible through in  a vibrant multi-touch book

Prior to SharingStories program the Dunggula creation story had not been spoken in the Bangerang language for several generations.

In 2018, Roland Atkinson, Uncle Sandy's nephew, and SharingStories' Victorian Production Manager Daen Sansbury-Smith spent time at the Bangerang Cultural Centre translating the story utilising the Bangerang dictionary.

Many variations of each sentence and page were trialled with a lively narrative performance, before settling on the appropriate Bangerang version.

Roland Atkinson, continues to protect and evolve Bangerang Language in memory of his Uncle.

'This story is our history.' Roland said. 'It's important to document and pass on and programs like this will make the language a lot easier to pick up for younger generations.'

The Dunggula story has been recorded in Bangerang, spoken by Roland, and is available in an engaging, multi-touch book filled with community produced animations, soundscapes and original art works. There is also a comprehensive interactive map of important sites on Country.

The book will enable people to connect with Bangerang culture and language and will be launched on Country later this year.

Images courtesy of SharingStories Foundation.

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