Wiradjuri language course creates history

Ms Connie Ah See (left) with TAFE Western teacher Elizabeth Wright
Ms Connie Ah See (left) with TAFE Western teacher Elizabeth Wright

BARRIERS of isolation and distance will cease to be an obstacle for those seeking to learn the Wiradjuri language.

For the first time in TAFE NSW and TAFE Western’s history, a national course designed for the learning, reclamation and maintenance of the Wiradjuri Language will be offered for people to learn in the privacy of their own homes.

Members of the local community will be able to enrol in the course, which will be delivered via online learning.

TAFE Western Yarradamarra Centre head teacher Connie Ah See will officially launched the online Certificate I Aboriginal Languages and Culture course on Thursday in Dubbo.

The program is currently being finalised with an aim to start teaching in mid-July at the start of semester three.

“The aim of the course is to assist Aboriginal peoples, especially Wiradjuri people, to learn their language in the hope of reclaiming and maintaining it for future generations,” Ms Ah See said.

“This course is unique because it is the first of its kind for TAFE NSW and TAFE Western.

"It will encompass cultural and language learning, taking people on an exciting journey of discovery and cultural experiences.

“I believe this course will break down barriers that people face when accessing training and education options.

"Barriers such as distance and isolation will be a thing of the past with technology allowing us the opportunity to reach more people in more places.

“At the moment we have a number of enquiries from interstate about this course, with three Wiradjuri people in Arnhem Land and Victoria eager to learn their language, but up until now they have not been able to because of the distance," she said.

TAFE Western Institute Director Kate Baxter said the Certificate I Aboriginal Languages and Culture course continued TAFE Western’s delivery of innovative and important strategies to increase Aboriginal student participation.

“Here at TAFE Western we are making a huge effort to bridge the gap in the disadvantage that Aboriginal peoples experience in relation to education and employment,” Ms Baxter said.

“This online course is a vitally important step towards recognising the importance of the Wiradjuri Language now and into the future,” she said.