July 19th, 2023A wonderful wartangu
Words: Eve Lamb. Images: Supplied
There was a fair bit of wartangu happening at the Creswick Neighbourhood Centre as part of an occasion worth celebrating recently.
Wartangu? I hear you ask… It’s the Dja Dja Wurrung, Indigenous word for ‘coming together’ and this particular coming together celebrated NAIDOC week with the naming of several significant rooms at the local neighbourhood centre.
Centre manager Chrissy Austin had invited the state Member for Ripon, Martha Haylett, Hepburn shire councillors, centre committee and friends to the event which launched the new Indig names in the language of the Djaara People.
“I approached the Djaara Language Centre to gain approval to name a number of our rooms in Dja Dja Wurrung words in order to begin the passage of integrating Indigenous words into our own everyday language,” Chrissy said.
As a result, the centre’s programs room has become the wartangu (we come – learning/coming together/being together) room.
The computer room/learning lab is now the nyakang nyernang (seeing and hearing – learning/education/getting education room.
The shared kitchen is now the djakitj (food) room while the library is the Djimbayang (teaching/learning) room.
“We’re really keen to see the embedding of the Indigenous language into our everyday language,” Chrissy said.
“A main aim for us is to be more welcoming and inclusive and one of the ways is through language.”
After the naming event took place, Chrissy said that the Indigenous Djarra naming of the CNC rooms was already proving to be a valuable means toward achieving that goal.
“It’s proving to be a really good tool for our teachers and for our volunteers. It’s the start of a journey for us. We’re just hoping to grow it as much as possible and bring people on the journey with us,” she said.
“I want to encourage people to not be afraid to make a mistake with the new names in the rooms. They’re absolutely fantastic.”