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Yaru! Gudjal learner's guide and dictionary

Aboriginal Studies Press is excited to announce the release of a groundbreaking new book, Yaru! Gudjal learner's guide and dictionary, by William Santo, Alex Anderson, Cassy Nancarrow, and Myfany Turpin. This comprehensive publication will continue and strengthen the work of reviving the Gudjal language, spoken by the people of the Mural (Charters Towers) region in western inland north Queensland. 
Yaru! is a significant milestone in the documentation and revitalisation of the Gudjal language. The project began in the 1970s when Gudjal people collaborated with linguists to record their native tongue. The first Gudjal Dictionary, published in 2006 by William Santo and Cassy Nancarrow, marked the awakening of a language that had long been dormant. Building upon this foundation, Yaru! expands the dictionary and includes the first-ever Gudjal grammar, along with four traditional songs and a Welcome to Country. 

The collaboration of Gudjal elder William Santo with linguists Alex Anderson, Cassy Nancarrow, and Myfany Turpin ensures the accuracy and richness of the content. Additionally, accompanying audio, narrated by Keesha Gordon and Shakira Kelly, can be heard via QR codes in the book. 

Yaru! will be an invaluable resource to the Gudjal community and schools in the Charters Towers region, providing the tools needed to cultivate a new generation of language speakers. Moreover, it will captivate individuals interested in Australia's First Peoples, their languages, and the revival of endangered languages. 
About the Authors: 

  • William Santo: A Gudjal Elder dedicated to revitalising his father's language for more than 30 years. Instrumental in establishing the North Queensland Regional Aboriginal Corporation Language Centre, William's passion is seeing the Gudjal language flourish once again. 

  • Alex Anderson: A linguistics graduate from the University of Sydney, Alex has previously worked alongside Indigenous communities in Mexico on educational and archival projects. 

  • Cassy Nancarrow: As a linguist and educator, Cassy has worked extensively with First Nations people across northern and far northern Queensland. She played a pivotal role in the creation of the first Gudjal Dictionary (2006) and has collaborated on many language and song revival initiatives. 

  • Myfany Turpin: A linguist and musicologist at the University of Sydney, Turpin has worked closely with First Nations people since 1994. Her contributions include publications on Aboriginal song-poetry and the creation of language resources such as A Learner's Guide to Kaytetye (2001) and Kaytetye to English Dictionary (2013). 

Yaru! Gudjal learner’s guide and dictionary is for sale through Aboriginal Studies Press at and bookshops. Secure your copy today.  

Aboriginal Studies Press is the publishing arm of AIATSIS.  


Production details 


240mm x 170mm 

124 pp + 4 pp cover (full colour, richly illustrated) 

Released 1 October 2023 

ISBN 9781922102447 (pb); 9781922102744 (Pdf) 

RRP $34.95 (pb); RRP $19.99 (ebook) 


Media enquiries:   

or SMS to 0476 843 522   


Last updated: 29 September 2023