Anindilyakwa is the language of the Warnumamalya people of Groote Eylandt and Bickerton Island.
“We’ve been talking this language since our elders were still alive and it was passed from generation to generation” says Judy Lalara.
“We’re feeling that this language is still spoken and we need to keep it strong and healthy for the future of wurriyukwayuwa (the children) so that the ayakwa (language) won’t disappear from their mind, from this generation to the next.”
The Language Centre, which operates under the Preserving Culture department of the Anindilyakwa Land Council, works to maintain, promote and keep language strong in the community.
It works as a team, with staff based in the communities of Angurugu, Milyakburra and Umbakumba.
The Language Centre is a keeping place for old stories, photos, songs, genealogies and other cultural and language knowledge.
It works with the schools to teach language, stories, songs and dance.
And it makes books, videos and language resources for the schools and for everybody in the community.
The Language Centre also provides translation services so that people can understand important messages in their first language, Anindilyakwa.
“This language is still in our minds and in our hearts,” says Carol Wurramara. “We need to protect it and respect it so we won’t lose it in the future.”