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New bus celebrates local Wamba language

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July 14, 2017

More than 100 Intereach staff celebrated NAIDOC Week 2017 with morning and afternoon teas across the region, and with the launch of a new Community Transport bus featuring Aboriginal artwork and language.

The bus features artwork by Griffith-based Aboriginal artist Allison Stewart as well as words from the local Wamba Wamba language.

It is brandished with the terms Nyuma, meaning ‘to recognise, to know’, and Nungga meaning ‘to help,’ reflecting the theme of NAIDOC Week — ‘Our Language Matters’.

Yarkuwa Knowledge Centre Aboriginal Corporation assisted Intereach with selecting appropriate local Wamba Wamba words, which Intereach chief executive officer Sue Mathieson said explain how Intereach works within local communities.

In the late 18th Century there were more than 250 distinct Indigenous language groups in Australia, today only around 120 are still spoken and many of these are at risk.

‘‘The bus is a way of celebrating our local Aboriginal culture, the local Wamba language to recognising and honouring the local Wamba Wamba/Perrepa Perrepa people and country,’’ she said.

‘‘The Community Transport bus is one of many initiatives Intereach undertakes to ensure the local Aboriginal community is recognised and welcomed when using Intereach services or working alongside staff and volunteers at Intereach.’’

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