Community & Rememberence

term 3

The importance of country & place


Language is an 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.

''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

What their Language Means to Them

Language is important to the Aboriginal people because it is a part of them, it is like being invisible. Without it they would feel like no-one cares, like your whole soul being taken away.It is unique no-one else has it, it is their special way of communicating.That means alot to them they dont want it to be taken away from they're lifestyle.

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

The local language for the group for the Illawarra is Tharawal



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 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.