Country, Culture, People, Future


Aboriginal language initiatives

Posted: May 15th, 2015

Filed under: , , , , , , , , , , ,

There are positive initiatives across Western Australia committed to preserving traditional languages.

Nyangumarta speakers in Hedland recently underwent training to become qualified interpreters for hospitals and courts. The training facilitated by the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters is hoped to increase access to services for Aboriginal people.

Weerianna Street Media in collaboration with linguist Janelle Mowarin and the Wangka Maya Pilbara Aboriginal Language Centre have created language videos for schools and other resources to complement a Ngarluma online dictionary. The Wangka Maya dictionary and Ngarluma Language Resource are available online here.

Geraldton’s Bundiyarra-Irra Wangga Language Centre recently launched a Nhanda alphabet poster along with other educational posters which promote the Nhanda language. Anyone interested in contributing to the Nhanda dictionary project may call Ms Sitorus at the Bundiyarra-Irra Wangga Language Centre on 9920 7900.

Language programs in Geraldton

Posted: September 10th, 2012

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

The Bundiyarra Irra Wangga Language program offers a variety of Indigenous language classes and workshops. These include:
    • Language Awareness Community Workshops on the languages of the Murchison-Gascoyne Regions (including Badimaya, Malgana, Nhanda, Wajarri and Yinggarda).
    • Community Wajarri Language Classes (held on Saturday mornings at the Bundiyarra complex)



  • The Master and Apprentice Language Teaching Model; where younger people (apprentices) learn to speak language with support from older speakers (masters)




  • Community Language Nests focusing on the immersion of children between 0 – 5 in their local language



Bundiyarra Irra Wangga also has a range of educational material available, including books, posters, flashcards and the recently completed Wajarri Dictionary.
Irra Wangga strives to preserve, maintain and promote the languages of the Murchison-Gascoyne regions of Western Australia, which are becoming increasingly threatened and endangered.
The language program is currently looking for sponsors to help with the delivery of language related activities that assist the whole community to grow in understanding, pride and the learning of Aboriginal languages.
If you are interested in sponsoring any of the language program’s activities or events, please contact Jennifer Kniveton, Language Program Coordinator, on (08) 9920 7900.
For more information on any of these programs, or to purchase educational materials, please contact Irra Wangga directly on (08) 9920 7950.


YMAC is a proud supporter of the Bundiyarra Irra Wangga language program

NAIDOC profile: Wula Guda Nyinda Aboriginal Cultural Tours

Posted: July 7th, 2011

Filed under: , , , , ,

Darren “Capes” Capewell teaching stories of his
country to YMAC staff

Wula Guda Nyinda Aboriginal Cultural Tours is an Indigenous tourism provider in the world heritage listed Shark Bay area. Owner and operator Darren “Capes” Capewell offers tourists a unique insight into the culture and country of the Indigenous people of Shark Bay.

A descendant of the Malgana and Nanda people, Capes is passionate about increasing understanding of and respect for Aboriginal culture.

He does this by offering a variety of tours that include bushwalking, kayaking, collecting bush tucker, and telling stories about the country and its first peoples. “I make all my tours interactive, so people participate in the experience,” he said.

Wula Guda Nyinda translates to “you come this way,” which refers to sharing stories, both between generations and between cultures. Capes sums up this approach with the philosophy of education, understanding and respect, which he stresses throughout his tours.

“I try to challenge negative stereotypes people have of modern Aboriginal people by presenting Aboriginal culture in a positive way. I want people to understand the culture and the country,” Capes said.

Capes works to advance the Indigenous tourism industry through his leadership in the Western Australian Indigenous Tourism Operators Committee, the Shark Bay World Heritage Committee and Indigenous Tourism Australia.

“I think education and awareness of Aboriginal culture is so important, for Aboriginal kids, and for non-Aboriginal people. NAIDOC week is a great thing, because it is a time all Australians can walk together, and learn together, about something that is very unique. We have the oldest living culture in the world, and that is something all Australians should be proud of.”

To learn more visit

Across Australia every July, NAIDOC Week celebrates the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. In honour of NAIDOC 2011 YMAC is featuring a series of Aboriginal people and organisations that contribute to the vibrant Aboriginal culture of the Midwest and Pilbara. For more information on NAIDOC including its history and events happening near you, visit

Country is our mother, the provider and keeper of cultural belongings. Country and Culture go together. You can’t have one without the other.

Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation respectfully acknowledges the Traditional Owners and custodians throughout Western Australia, and on whose Country we work. We acknowledge and respect their deep connection to their lands and waterways.

We honour and pay respect to Elders, and to their ancestors who survived and cared for Country.

Our offices are located on Whadjuk Country, Southern Yamatji Country, Yinggarda Country, Kariyarra Country, and Yawuru Country. We recognise the continuing culture, traditions, stories and living cultures on these lands and commit to building a brighter future together.

Disclaimer: Caution: Please be advised that this website may contain images, voices and names of deceased people.

This will close in 15 seconds