A series of dreaming stories, DVDs and colouring books produced in the Dhanggati language was launched on Wednesday, April 18 at Real Futures in Kempsey.
Caroline Bradshaw from Ngabu Bingayi Aboriginal Corporation said it was a monumental moment.
“It’s the first of our dreaming stories to be published,” she said.
“They dreaming stories are very special.
“The elders were involved in sharing them.
“These books, DVDs and colouring books for children will now act as a reference point for younger generations, so that they can reconnect with their language and culture, and also it ensures that these stories are never forgotten.”
Aunty Caroline and Aunty Esther Quinlin, and the Ngabu Bingayi Aboriginal Corporation worked for two years to create the series. Unfortunately, Aunty Esther passed away late last year.
“Aunty Esther didn’t get to see the finished work but she would be proud,” Aunty Caroline told the Argus.
Real Futures CEO Wendy Yarnold said the organisation has been honoured and extremely proud to provide a special space within our walls and hearts for Aunty Esther, Aunty Caroline and the Ngabu Bingayi Aboriginal Corporation to develop the capacity of the Dhanggati Language Group.
“After more than a year of Elder consultation, recording stories, website design the fruits of hours and hours of labour are now available to preserve Dhanggati Language into the future presented as a website and enjoyed in children’s books of Dreaming Stories (Barrubatayi Wiriiyn),” she said.
“Sadly, we lost Aunty Esther in a tragic accident and Aunty Caroline pushed on alone with hours of recordings from Aunty Esther living on, reaching out from the Dreaming to complete her project.
“Aunty Caroline and the children from Greenhill Public School performed a Welcome to Country in language for Minister Nigel Scullion at our Real Futures launch when he visited Kempsey.
“He left extremely impressed.
“Aunty Caroline, Aunty Esther and Elders wish to leave a legacy for young people to understand their own Traditional language which leads them to understand their traditional homelands and their Elders stories about their connection to the Macleay and surrounding Dhanggati Country.
“Real Futures is a National Company incubated on the banks of the Macleay working across Australia respecting and supporting Aboriginal Cultural ethic in all of our locations and we gladly welcome the opportunity to be a little part of something as wonderful as these Children’s Books.
“We would like to promote them to the world at Supply Nation Connect this year and hope that the efforts can encourage other communities to share language with their children.”
Aunty Caroline thanked Frank and Steven McCleod for their work illustrating the series and Robert (Bob) Smith for contributing the voice over.
She also thanked Burrun Dalai for their support with the costs of printing and providing copies to Dhanggati children in care.
The materials are available free to Dhanggatti people and they can also be purchased through Muurrbay Aboriginal Language and Culture Cooperative.