Community News

Mr Gulaptis is pictured with preschoolers from Uniting Preschool in Grafton (along with Service Director Neil Gorring & ‘Ninganah No More’ program co-ordinator Bianca Monaghan). Image: Contributed

Clarence Valley kids to learn the language of first local Australians

Uniting Preschool in Grafton has won a grant of around $7000 from the NSW Government to teach children about local Aboriginal language, Clarence Nationals MP Chris Gulaptis announced when visiting the institution last week. “The ‘Ninganah No More’ program is all about helping local kids appreciate and understand Aboriginal languages from our region and I think this is a terrific initiative, “Mr Gulaptis said. “Indigenous communities in the Clarence Valley aren’t just step one of our regional history, they make ongoing contributions to our cultural, tourism and economic assets, especially through the arts.” “It is a real shame that so few know so little about this contribution and these modest grants secured by the Nationals in Government will go some way to remedying that.” “Earlier last week, the Government provided a grant and recognition for Baryugil elders, an initiative that was applauded on social media by leading Australian Aboriginal leader Warren Mundine.” Service Director at Uniting Preschool Grafton, Neil Gorring, welcomed the funding and the ongoing benefits it will provide for the children and educators to maintain awareness of our local indigenous culture and language. “At Uniting, we are committed to embedding indigenous cultural perspectives into our preschool educational program. We have done this by partnering with local Aboriginal organisations to learn about the traditional Bundjalung people upon whose land our preschool is located. This grant enables us to provide further learning opportunities through the delivery of a tailored eight-week Aboriginal Education Program to enable the children to learn about the importance of keeping Bundjalung language alive. Our Bundjalung learning journey will include experiences which explore language, songs, stories, dances, drawing symbols and totems.”