Why Our Languages Matter - an event to celebrate NAIDOC week


NAIDOC week in 2017 celebrates the importance, resilience and richness of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages. The Northern Territory has a rich landscape of Indigenous languages, which play key roles in the lives of individuals and communities, in the transmission of knowledge, history, spirituality and law, and as markers of identity.

Dr Waymamba Kaykamanu Northern Institute
Join us to hear Indigenous language authorities share about why Indigenous languages matter in the 21st century. This will include,
  • a special presentation by Dr Waymamba Gaykamaŋu (pictured right), a senior Gupapuyŋu woman and Educator.
  • Learn a few words of a living language from the Top End.
  • Experience some of the interesting work happening on language development by Northern Institute researchers.

When:  2.30pm Wednesday 5 July

Where: Northern Institute, Yellow building 1, Level 2, Room 48 (see map)

Afternoon tea provided - please register for catering purposes below



Arrive and Welcome 


Matha ( Yolŋu Languages) Matter - Dr Waymamba Gaykamanu  

Waymamba is a senior Gupapuyŋu woman. She undertook her schooling at Milingimbi and became a teacher in the bilingual program at Milingimbi school, working there from 1973 until 1987. In 1994 she became the inaugural lecturer in Yolŋu Languages and Culture at CDU. She has also worked as a teacher trainer, a curriculum developer, and has contributed to a number of research projects. In 2005 Waymamba and her colleagues received the Prime Minister's Award for University Teacher of the Year, and in 2007 she received the Vice-Chancellor's Award for Exceptional Performance in Research. In 2010 she was presented with the National Elder of the Year award by the Indigenous Higher Education Advisory Council. In the recognition of her outstanding contribution to advancement of education, Waymamba was awarded the degree of Doctor of Education Honoris Causa in 2014.    


A look at Indigenous Language Resources  

Living Archive of Aboriginal Languages, Treasure Language, Digital Shell Bininj Kunwok course, The Wiggles in Warramiri


Indigenous authorities talk about why their languages matter

Representatives from Marrithiyel / Mak Mak Marranunggu, Yolŋu, Bininj Kunwok and other language groups of the NT

For program enquiries please contact:

Cathy Bow or Michaela Spencer 

About NAIDOC Week 

NAIDOC Week celebrations are held across Australia each July to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. NAIDOC is celebrated not only in Indigenous communities, but by Australians from all walks of life. The week is a great opportunity to participate in a range of activities and to support your local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. Visit www.naidoc.org.au