Berrayinga Miriwoong Dawang yoowoorriyantha.
(This is our country, Miriwoong Country)
Woonyjoo barranggoo dawa–yoowoorriyang.
(Please respect this place of ours)
In these pages you can learn about the work of Mirima Dawang Woorlab-gerring (MDWg), literally “Mirima Place for Talking”.
The work of the Mirima Dawang Woorlab-gerring Language and Culture Centre (MDWg) began in the 1970s to preserve, analyse, and record the language and culture of the Miriwoong and Gajirrabeng people, the original inhabitants of the lands around Kununurra. Our vision is that recording and documenting the traditional language will help our children to grow up with the knowledge and understanding that has been transferred by earlier generations over centuries.
Miriwoong is a critically endangered language. There are only a few truly fluent speakers who grew up speaking exclusively Miriwoong. They are all elderly and there is a dire need for structured programs which can aid the transmission of Miriwoong to succeeding generations.
At MDWg, we have established successful and innovative programs such the Miriwoong Language Nest and the Miriwoong Knowledge Cycle based on internationally renowned language learning models. Our Language Nest program alone regularly teaches Miriwoong to over 200 children a week – Indigenous and non-Indigenous – helping to build their self-esteem, wider educational engagement and cross-cultural understanding.
We are also using innovative technology to develop new language learning tools and resources such as our bilingual books with audio support and our Miriwoong app. These resources are enabling current and future generations of Miriwoong people to learn their language and celebrate their culture in relevant and accessible ways.
Our work and achievements have been recognised through a number of awards.
- National winner – 2015 HESTA Community Sector Organisation of the Year
- Finalist – 2015 East Kimberley Aboriginal Achievement Awards
- Finalist – 2014 WA Regional Achievement and Community Awards
Our staff and volunteers are working tirelessly to achieve our vision of Saving Miriwoong but we need your help and support. To find out how you can contribute to the work of MDWg please visit our ‘Help Save Miriwoong’ page or donate directly via GiveNow. Every contribution helps.