Gunnai / Kŭrnai

The Yirruk-Tinnor Gunnai / Kŭrnai Language Program has been running for approximately 20 years and over that time it has had an enourmous amount of success in regaining the Gunnai Language of Gippsland.

The aims of the program are:

  • To teach, research and document the Gunnai Language and cultural history of Gippsland.
  • In consultation with the Language Reference group we work to pass on language in context.
  • Facilitate the provision of cross cultural programs and resources for staff of preschool, primary, secondary teachers, community Language workers, & cultural officers.
  • Have 20 community people, including cultural officers, who participate in Language workshops, and teach & use language in schools, kindergartens, etc.
  • Support, monitor and evaluate Language programs from kindergarten to Community.
  • Participate in regional & state-wide forums, national professional development and Language conferences.

The Woolum Bellum K.O.D.E School P-12 has taught an Indigenous Language as their LOTE subject since it opened its doors in 1995. The Indigenous Language was introduced and taught at the school by Lynnette Solomon-Dent. Lynnette has taught Indigenous Languages for 19 years to University students & community members and more recently in preschools across Gippsland to encourage the participation of Koorie children.

Woolum Bellum K.O.D.E school is in Gippsland in the eastern part of Victoria and is teaching an Indigenous Language as part of the L.O.T.E in schools at the V.C.E level. The Indigenous Languages of Victoria: Revival and Reclamation is a Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority[/LINK] subject was introduced to Indigenous students across Victoria in 2004.

Students are actively encouraged to participate in the process of revival and reclamation of a Victorian Indigenous Language of significance to themselves or to their local area. This involves the identification of strategies for community consultation and for the participation of Indigenous family groups in the ongoing reclamation process. It also includes the acquisition of knowledge and skill in the location and interpretation of historical records of various kinds relating to the target language as well as the active use of the target language in contemporary settings, within and beyond the classroom context.

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