Jobs Events Advertise Newsletter

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   

Churchill Fellow honors Aboriginal soldier's legacy with journey to France
Gamilaroi / Yullaroi man, Joseph (Joe) Flick, a Churchill Fellow, pays tribute o...
Joseph Guenzler 24 Apr 2024
BlakYard Picnic makes triumphant return to Carclew
The highly anticipated BlakYard Picnic made an immensely successful return to th...
Phoebe Blogg 23 Apr 2024
After more than 250 years away the Gweagal spears will return home for good
In a ceremony held in the Wren Library at Trinity College, Cambridge, on Tuesday...
Giovanni Torre 23 Apr 2024
First Nations artist Emma Hollingsworth to showcase at The Big Design Market in Melbourne
Known in the arts community for vibrantly hued projects which reflected her heri...
Phoebe Blogg 23 Apr 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...
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 Ch...
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-...
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. D...
Madelaine Dickie 16 Aug 2019