Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Aboriginal children create storytelling app to share and preserve Wurundjeri culture

15 Aboriginal students from Thornbury Primary School have illustrated and recorded three ancient Wurundjeri stories in Woiwurrung and English.

The students were supported by Wurundjeri Council elders, Victorian Aboriginal Corporation for Languages project officer and Koorie educator Phil Cooper, Woiwurrung language specialist Mandy Nicholson and digital media technicians from New Zealand.

The students used language, art and technology to tell the stories Balayang Wurrgarrabil-ut (Why Bats are Black), Dulaiwurrung Mungka-nj-bulanj (How the Platypus was Made) and Gurrborra Nguba-nj Ngabun Baanj (Why the Koala Doesn’t Drink Water).

The three digital stories were launched as iTunes apps last week and are now available for free download online.

The groudbreaking apps are the first of their kind, giving anyone anywhere in the world access to traditional Wurundjeri stories and Woiwurrung language.

The easy-to-use interface allows people to read the stories in English and then substitute the Woiwurrung words to learn them.

Grade 3/4 student James, who worked on the story about Why the Koala Doesn’t Drink Water, said his mother had told him his family was Wurundjeri, so it was important to him to learn the language and encourage others to use it too.

“This means more people get to learn and the Aboriginal ancestors won’t fade away,” he said.

Download the story apps via iTunes.

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Contact Melissa Saunders, Indigenous Engagement and Education Officer, on (03) 9032 3426 or melissa.saunders@veohrc.vic.gov.au.