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Ngunnawal language revival project

Ngunnawal community members and linguists from AIATSIS first met in early 2014 to discuss the possibility of working together on language revival. In July 2014, we entered into a cooperative research agreement to revitalise the Ngunnawal language of the ACT and nearby areas of New South Wales.

The work undertaken in partnership with the Ngaiyuriija Ngunawal Language Group focused on developing a suitable writing system for Ngunnawal and beginning the development of school classes in the language. The Ngunnawal language lessons were presented at Fraser Primary School in 2015.

Watch a video of Ngunnawal elder Kayleen Busk discussing the importance of language to the Ngunawal people.

Since 2018, AIATSIS has been working closely with the recently established Winanggaay Ngunnawal Language Group, who represent a wide range of Ngunnawal families. An important step taken with this work was to employ a linguist to analyse the fullest range of historical materials and draw on them to write a grammar, a technical description of the language. We have continued working with Winanggaay to assist them in using this grammar to develop Ngunnawal language learning materials and to continue the work of bringing Ngunnawal back in to daily use within the community.

Project team

Dr Doug Marmion

Last updated: 23 June 2022