Country & Place

Year 3

Area of Study

The importance of Country and Place to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples who belong to a local area. (ACHHK060)

Learning Intentions

I am learning to:

*identify the original Aboriginal languages spoken in the local or regional area

Success Criteria

I will know that I have been successful when I can:

*express in my own words why language is important to Aboriginal people

*identify the local Aboriginal language of the Illawarra/Shellharbour area from a language map of Australia

*listen to the nation anthem being sung in Dharawal and record how Aboriginal people might 'feel' hearing their 'mother tongue'

Aboriginal Language

Language is extremely important to the Aboriginal peoples. Languages carry cultural knowledge, so the loss of a language means the loss of culture, of Aboriginal people's connections to their ancestors.

*Read the following quotes:

"Our language is like a pearl inside a shell. The shell is like the people that carry the language. If our language is taken away, then that would be like a pearl that is gone. We would be like an empty oyster shell." Yurranydjil Dhurrkay, Galiwin’ku, North East Arnhem Land

"The important thing about language and what it means is that language contains the essence of our ancestors, every word comes from place and identifies people and links to the land, country, the dreaming: they are all inherent in language, therefore it means the people, the land, everything." Yolngu Elder Laurie Baymarrwangga

"The loss of language is the loss of the ability to describe the landscape...and your place in it." Wesley Enoch, Director of the Queensland Theatre Company and a Nunukul man

"Knowing that our own language and culture play the biggest role in growing our spirit, our connection to our land and the stories of our grandmother and grandfathers. With our language we know where we belong, we know the names from our country and Jukurrpa (Dreaming stories and designs). Young people can’t lead a good, healthy and happy life without this. Language and culture come first. When kids feel lost and their spirit is weak then they can’t learn well or be healthy. They need to feel pride in their language and culture and know that they are respected. That’s the only way to start closing the gap. Walpiri Patu Kurlangu Jaru

*Explain the importance of language to the Aboriginal people in your own words.

Language is important to the Aboriginal people because...

*Use the interactive map to locate and identify the local language group.

The local language group for the Illawarra is...

It is also known as...

Local Language: Dharawal and Wodi Wodi (Wadi Wadi): People of the Illawarra

The Wodi Wodi are the Aboriginal custodians of the Illawarra who spoke a variant of the Dharawal language. Dharawal speakers lived and live in the country from Botany Bay and Campbelltown in the north through the Nepean, Wollondilly, Georges, and Cataract water catchments, west to Moss Vale (Illillawatta) and south to the Shoalhaven River and Jervis Bay (Figure 1). Dharawal people are distinguished as fresh water or salt water people depending on whether they occupied the coastal regions or the plateaus and inland river valleys. Traditional stories tell of their arrival at the mouth of Lake Illawarra in canoes when the Ancestors were animals. They brought the Dharawal or Cabbage Tree Palm (Figure 2) with them from the north and are named for this sacred tree.

The Wodi Wodi people were at Bass Point 17,000 years ago when the sea level was so low that it was 14 km inland. It wasn't until 6,000 years ago that the sea rose to its current level and it was around that time that the Wodi Wodi settled beside the sea so they could catch fish and live off the shellfish they found on the rocks. The area is rich in ancient Wodi Wodi artefacts with shell and stone objects, including one of the most ancient edge-ground axes outside of tropical Australia, being found. There are a number of middens in the area. Bass Point is a rare example of a Pleistocene era site in south-eastern Australia.
*Record how you think Aboriginal people might 'feel' hearing their 'mother tongue'.

Place Names

The Aboriginal name for Shellharbour has been recorded as both Yerrowah (meeting place), and Wonwin, (place where there were big fish). The Eurpoean name Shellharbour refers to the large quantities of shells found in Aboriginal middens along the foreshore in the early to mid 19th century. Due to the mining of shells in the mid 19th century for the production of lime these vast middens no longer remain.

Learning Intentions

I am learning to:

*identify the special relationship that Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples have to Country and Place

Success Criteria

I will know that I have been successful when I can:

*read and discuss the given 'analogy quotes'

*explain to a partner what Country and Place means to indigenous peoples

*create a Popplet to record quotes

*use my understanding of the quotes to record a comment on: 'Why are there three different views on the land at James Price Point in Western Australia?'

*Why are there three different views on the land at James Price Point?

Learning Intentions

I am learning to :

*respond to Aboriginal stories told about Country presented in texts or by a guest speaker

Success Criteria

I will know that I have been successful when I can:

*respond to questions posed re the text

*participate in a class discussion to identify the 'take away' message of the text 'The Lost Girl' by Ambelin Kwaymullina

Answer the following questions:

*What does the girl mean when she tells her little brother "I was with my mother"?

*The bush setting is where the girl and her family group live. How does this family's country/place provide them with their basic needs? Why do you think it is important to them?

*The take away message from the text 'The Lost Girl' is