[aka Kukuyimidir, Koko Imudji, Gugu Yimijir]

Classification: Pama-Nyungan


severely endangered


Learning language with Aunty Irene

It’s story time at the Cape York Aboriginal Australian Academy school in Hopevale and Aunty Irene Hammett is armed with her Bulgun Warra language books. She’s written them, based on her and her family’s childhoods. They tell tales of adventures on country - through the bush, and at the beach. The class gathers on the mat in front of Aunty Irene and listen intently. Irene has been a long time teacher and reader at this Hopevale school and is a passionate advocate for the speaking of her mother tongue – Bulgun Warra. “Language is something that no one else can take away from you,” she says. “It’s in your heart and in your mind.”

Anna Belew

Cape York Aboriginal Australian Academy, Hopevale

Jan. 1, 2015