Blacktown Arts will develop an innovative Indigenous language project thanks to $200,000 in funding from the Federal Department of Communications and the Arts.
The Wingaru Byalla-Bada project is an Aboriginal-initiated and creatively driven project that will protect and restore the highly endangered Dharug Buruberougal language by teaching it in an interactive, virtual environment.
A team of Aboriginal artists from Western Sydney – including Richard Green, Leanne Tobin, Troy Russell and Jacinta Tobin – have been assembled to develop cultural, language and creative content.
The team is supported by celebrated Australian virtual reality artists, Adam Nash and David Haines, who will build the immersive space of Wingaru Byalla-Bada within a game engine.
Language learners navigate the space through different platforms including mobile phone and online.
“Teaching and learning local Aboriginal languages is an important part of understanding our history and community,” said the Mayor of Blacktown City, Councillor Stephen Bali.
“While Blacktown City is home to one of the largest urban Aboriginal populations in Australia, the number speaking an indigenous language is relatively low.
“The Wingaru Byalla-Bada project will play an essential role in the survival of our local Indigenous language.
“We thank the Federal Government for recognising the importance of this project for our community, and beyond.”
The project will culminate in an exhibition at Blacktown Arts Centre in 2019.
A steering committee of Darug community members will provide cultural guidance, and local Aboriginal communities are invited to see and provide feedback on the project throughout its development.
If you are interested in the Wingaru Byalla-Bada project, subscribe to our mailing list for updates or call 9839 6558.
An early artist impressions of the virtual reality environment.