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Bundiyarra Aboriginal Community Aboriginal Corporation
“We respectfully acknowledge the Yamaji people on whose land I live and work and I pay my respects to their Ancestors and Yamaji Barna”


Funding helps save a disappearing language Aug 2nd, 2016
Mount Magnet Elder, Uncle Ollie George, is the last living fluent speaker of the Badimaya language.
Bundiyarra-Irra Wangga Language Centre has been working hard with Ollie for many years to help preserve the language, and has now received funding from Country Arts WA to help capture his extensive cultural knowledge, including traditional stories and oral histories of Badimaya people from the mid-1930s to today.
The grant of more than $38,000 will fund a collaborative project encompassing visual arts and literature and production of a book, Nganang Badimaya Wangga: Stories by Uncle Ollie George.
Partnering with Yamaji Art, Wirnda Barna artists at Mount Magnet and ABC Open Mid West, the Bundiyarra-Irra Wangga Language Centre will oversee the publication of a book and short films and documentary culminating in an art exhibition.
Language Centre Coordinator, Jenni Gregory-Kniveton, said the Language Centre has worked closely with Uncle Ollie as the main language and cultural consultant on this project for many years.
“It’s through Uncle Ollie’s tireless efforts that since 2012, the Language Centre has been able to so far produce nine publications, one short film, a photographic exhibition and numerous short, online videos and audio segments for radio,” she said.
“As the last speaker of the Badimaya language, and at 82-years-old, it is vitally important that Uncle Ollie’s stories continue to be recorded and produced for the revitalisation of the Badimaya language for the Badimaya people.
“We are very grateful to Country Arts for recognising the importance of this project and awarding the funding to allow us to progress this project to save a disappearing language,” Jenni said.
Former Language Centre Linguist, James Bednall and Linguist Rosie Sitorus, photographic coordinator, Brendan Penzer and film maker ABC Open Mid West’s Chris Lewis, will work with Uncle Ollie George to record 14 of his cultural and historical stories spoken in Badimaya on country at locations integral to the stories themselves. The linguists will then translate the stories.
The funding of $38,750 is provided by Country Arts WA Scheme Four program, made possible by the State Government’s Royalties for Regions $24 million investment in culture and the arts.

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"This months Local Language 'Badimaya' | mayidyi - Aboriginal man, Aboriginal person | dyuba - Child | murni - Woman, Female | dyudya murni - Old woman | dyudya - Old person |"
- Dwayne Smith