Protecting, preserving and promoting Aboriginal Culture is important to the Burrandies Board and Staff. If you are Interested in any of the following Cultural Services... We can assist!
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  • Aboriginal Heritage Management Plans Identifying and naming in First Nations Language
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Language & Culture Revival in the South East

In modern times, anyone interested in the Bunganditj language could attempt to source the difficult to obtain books by Professor Barry Blake The Bunganditj (Buwandik) language of the Mount Gambier Region or else Mrs James (Christina) Smith The Booandik Tribe of South Australian Aborgines . Burrandies Aboriginal Corporation (BAC) hopes the availability of this new language resource helps to kick-off the next important stage in reclaiming the Bunganditj language for the next generation.

A few Boandik people did make contact with Barry, including David Moon in Melbourne, who has since produced a CD illustrating fauna and flora with their Boandik names. But it wasn’t until Dr Mary-Anne Gale visited Mount Gambier in June 2011, on behalf of the Mobile Language Team of the University of Adelaide, that the seed was sown among the local Aboriginal community, and the possibility arose of reviving the Boandik language on country in the Mount Gambier region.

As a result of this trip, the MLT funded a two-day community workshop in November 2011. The workshop was held in Mount Gambier for people in Community interested in exploring future language activities in Bunganditj, the traditional language of the Mount Gambier region. The workshop was convened by Dr Mary-Anne Gale, with the support of both local Aboriginal organisations (Burrandies Aboriginal Corporation and Pangula Mannamurna). People attended the workshop with Boandik connections from Melbourne, Murray Bridge, Naracoorte and Sydney, as well as those living locally.

Emeritus Professor Barry Blake shared his extensive knowledge and research of the Bunganditj language with Community. He also shared his thoughts on the possibilities of Bunganditj language revival. Since the first language revival workshop held in Mount Gambier in November 2011, the archival Boandik lexicon is now being embraced and expanded by the community to meet new and contemporary purposes, in collaboration with Blake.

Since the community workshop funded by the Mobile Language Team in November 2011, Burrandies Aboriginal Corporation has also received two Indigenous Language Support (ILS) grants from Canberra, and formed a Bunganditj Language Revival Working Party. To support this process, the Bunganditj Language Reclamation Committee (BLRC) with David Moon as its coordinator has been established, acting as the key driver in re-establishing the future directions for Bunganditj language use.

Four years later, it is with great excitement that this first edition dictionary and Bunganditj language learners guide has been produced for the Boandik community. It has been developed as a community resource, to accompany the extensive work that Emeritus Professor Barry J. Blake has researched and compiled on the Bunganditj language.

On behalf of the Boandik community and Bunganditj Language Reclamation Committee, we pay special thanks to Emeritus Professor Barry J. Blake for his knowledge and expertise, as well as his valuable time making significant contributions to our journey reclaiming the Bunganditj language. It is hoped that this resource will enable community to learn key aspects of Bunganditj grammar, as we continue to reverse language shift and further engage families in the home and community context.

Myrtle Bonney (Aunty Penny)
Chairperson, Burrandies Aboriginal Corporation
Berrin (Mount Gambier) March 2017