NSW’s first bilingual Indigenous language school, Gumbaynggirr Gingana Freedom School (GGFS), will receive $185,508 in funding from the NSW Government for a new two-year pilot partnership.
National Education Minister Sarah Mitchell and Indigenous Affairs Minister Ben Franklin have announced funding to further support the revitalization of NSW’s Indigenous language and will offer three cadet positions for Gumbaynggirr language speakers to undertake undergraduate teaching degrees.
Ms Mitchell said she was delighted to see the wonderful job the school is doing in teaching the Gumbaynggirr language.
“The partnership is helping to strengthen the Gumbaynggirr language and community, increasing the number of qualified teachers capable of teaching the Gumbaynggirr language from one to four,” Ms. Mitchell said.
Mr. Franklin said this new pilot partnership with the Bularri Muurlay Nyanggan Aboriginal Corporation (BMANAC) will allow cadets to undertake their studies while working full-time at the Freedom School as language/learning support officers. .
“I’m proud to see this funding support Indigenous-controlled organizations and expand knowledge sharing and learning across New South Wales as part of the state’s efforts to support better use and broader appreciation of Indigenous languages,” Franklin said.
Coffs Harbor National Member Gurmesh Singh said the NSW Government is committed to strengthening the use of Aboriginal language through programs such as the Aboriginal Language Revival Programme.
“This pilot will be invaluable for community input on the ground and will support communities in their efforts to determine and monitor the use, growth and cultural integrity of their languages.”
Clare McHugh, executive director of the Aboriginal Languages Trust, Gamilaroi and Dhungutti, said the bilingual school provides students with a culturally safe, strength-based and research-based learning environment where Gumbaynggirr children are immersed. in their ancestral language.
“This is a significant achievement for the Gumbaynggirr language and for the education of Gumbaynggirr children,” Ms McHugh said.
“Reviving Indigenous languages is about giving Indigenous children a sense of belonging and investing in them for the future.