Jobs Events Advertise

Language – the salient ingredient to spirituality

Madelaine Dickie -

Arrivals at Canberra Airport's international terminal will now be greeted by a Ngunnawal Welcome to Country.

The welcome was recorded by Traditional Owners in Ngunnawal, the traditional language of the ACT, and features an introduction and translation in English as well.

Ngunnawal Traditional Owner Caroline Hughes said this new initiative is a mark of cultural recognition and reconciliation.

"Our language is the key to all our relationships and how we interact with each other. It is the salient ingredient to spirituality, lore, law and retaining our cultural identity and connection," Ms Hughes said.

"Growing up we could never share our language with non-Indigenous people. Language was to be kept secret to keep us safe ... Today, I am proud to share our language, welcoming visitors from around Australia and the world, who come to our traditional Country and to continue their journey safely."

Canberra Airport CEO Stephen Byron said he wants visitors to the ACT to appreciate the full history of the region.

"Being welcomed to Canberra in Ngunnawal, by Traditional Owners, is an important and memorable first step for visitors arriving in Canberra and sets the foundation for a more enriching visit," Mr Byron said.

The CEO said he hopes the Ngunnawal Welcome to Country will connect visitors with the ACT's long, continuing Indigenous history.

Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) CEO Craig Ritchie said this new greeting is a huge milestone in revitalising Ngunnawal language and culture.

Mr Ritchie, who is also Co-Chair of the UNESCO International Year of Indigenous Languages Committee, said it is especially timely during the International Year of Indigenous Languages.

"The Ngunnawal community have been working tirelessly to revitalise and share their language and AIATSIS is proud to help with this through the Ngunnawal Language Project," Mr Ritchie said.

"We are delighted that visitors to Canberra Airport will now be greeted in Ngunnawal, particularly in 2019, the International Year of Indigenous Languages," Mr Ritchie said.

The Ngunnawal Welcome to Country was officially launched at Canberra Airport on July 9.

   Related   

Indigenous All Stars captain wants rising American women to Harden up ahead of 2026 World Cup
The change of heart began with a simple message of support to the US women’s rugby league national team, wishing the freshly-min...
Andrew Mathieson 29 Feb 2024
First Nations artist Janelle Burger collaborates with Canva for new Women In Gaming illustrations
Celebrated for her unique artworks across several mediums, Australian-born, Paris-based Noongar/ Sicilian artist Janelle Burger...
Phoebe Blogg 28 Feb 2024
SHE DIRECTS - new program aims to boost First Nations women filmmakers
SHE DIRECTS, an intensive three-day directors lab aimed specifically at early to mid-career First Nations women from across Aust...
Giovanni Torre 28 Feb 2024
Australia Has a Black History: a Gomeroi woman's photographic journey
The work of Gomeroi photographer Barbara McGrady is currently on display at Chau Chak Wing Museum in an extraordinary new exhibi...
Joseph Guenzler 28 Feb 2024

   Madelaine Dickie   

The songs that went viral through the desert
Please note, this story contains the names of people who have passed away. In modern terms, it would have been a chart topper...
Madelaine Dickie 16 Sep 2020
Beale offers spark in Springboks clash
The Wallabies are en route to Brisbane to play the second game of their Rugby Championship campaign, after a disappointing start...
Madelaine Dickie 2 Apr 2020
Wallaroos winger makes a statement against Japan
Wallaroos winger Mahalia Murphy scored two tries to help the Australians to a 2-0 victory in their series against Japan. Emot...
Madelaine Dickie 16 Aug 2019
The broken man who battled the State—and won
Please note, this story contains the name of a person who has passed away. During Christmas-time in 1957 an Aboriginal baby...
Madelaine Dickie 16 Aug 2019