A successful community program in Broome is helping keep the Yawuru language alive.

20 December 2018

The latest cohort of graduates are determined to ensure the continuation of the Yawuru language after completing the two-year program incorporating elements of the master/apprentice model. 

As they celebrated with family and friends at their graduation ceremony at Notre Dame University, they reinforced the importance of language to them and their community by speaking and singing in Yawuru.

The Walalangga Yawuru Ngan-ga language program involves daily language immersion and learning on Country. The students are now fluent in conversational Yawuru and already sharing their knowledge with family members and friends.

The program is funded as part of the '20 Fluent Speakers by 2020' project, through the Indigenous Language and Arts Program.

Some of the graduates are continuing their language studies through the Western Australian Department of Education's LOTE Program co-ordinated by Lola Jones, who has had a long affiliation with the Yawuru Language Program in Broome Schools. 

Yawuru is now taught full time in two school in Broome, as well as some other schools.

The importance of preserving and reviving Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages will be a focus next year during the United Nation's International Year of Indigenous Languages (IY2019).