Wajarri spoken in Parliament in support of Constitutional change

Wajarri wangga: Member for Geraldton, Ian Blayney MLA, brushes up on his Wajarri with Bundiyarra-Irra Wangga Language Centre Language Worker, Godfrey Simpson, helped by Bundiyarra Board Chairman, Ross Oakley.

Wajarri wangga: Member for Geraldton, Ian Blayney MLA, brushes up on his Wajarri with Bundiyarra-Irra Wangga Language Centre Language Worker, Godfrey Simpson, helped by Bundiyarra Board Chairman, Ross Oakley.

Mr Blayney sought the help of Bundiyarra-Irra Wangga Language Centre workers, Godfrey Simpson and Edie Maher, to write a short speech in response to Member for Kimberley, Josie Farrer, MLA, who addressed the Constitution Amendment (Recognition of Aboriginal People) Bill 2015.

In Parliament on 26 August, Mr Blayney thanked Ms Farrer in Wajarri for her work on the bill. His speech to the Legislative Assembly said:

Nhurra barndi.

Ngathalu wilhbala wanggamanha nhurra banhagula nyinaji, barna gujurda.

Ngatha waayi ngurliyimanha wanggagu Yamaji banha thanu Nhanhagardi biirna, Amanggu thaagi.

Ngatha wangganha, barndiman nhurra Josie Farrer gi, Kimberley thanu. Josielu yalyba walgaman bibarlu nhinhanggu.

Urda nganhu jina yana nyinanyugundi

Translated, what Mr Blayney said in Wajarri was:

“Hello, I am speaking as a person from Geraldton, who represents, among others, the Amangu and Wajarri people here. I would like to say thank you to Josie Farrer from the Kimberley for her work on this bill.

“We will all continue to walk this journey.”

Mr Blayney told Parliament about the Wajarri Dictionary App produced by Bundiyarra. He also informed Parliament about the Mid West Aboriginal Organisation’s Alliance (MAOA), and read out a letter written to Ms Farrer from MAOA in support of her determination to amend the Bill.

Mr Blayney said he was proud of what the Aboriginal people of the Mid West have achieved.

“I acknowledge that a lot of work is still to be done; it is a journey that we all have to take,” he said.

“Finally, I thank Josie. Every Aboriginal person I spoke to about her bill in my electorate knew about it and knew that she brought it here.”

Ms Farrer’s Private Member’s Bill for constitutional recognition of Aboriginal people was introduced last year and referred to a Parliamentary Committee.

Legislation recognising Aboriginal people as WA’s first peoples of the State and custodians of the land passed through the Legislative Council and State Parliament on 10 September.