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West Kimberley

Coordinate supports speakers of traditional languages in their use of Worrorra, Ngarinyin and Wunambal - particularly in their expression of faith and worship.  Worrorra is now an endangered language.  It was first documented at Kunmunya mission in the 1920’s and 30’s by pioneer missionary, the Rev JRB Love.  He produced a variety of linguistic and anthropological writings including translations of the Gospels.

Mowanjum community members are in the initial stages of a language revitalisation program to reclaim their linguistic heritage as speakers of Worrorra and the neighbouring languages of Ngarinyin and Wunambal. Since 2009, Coordinate has partnered with this local initiative.  Members of the Mowanjum congregation have spent considerable time and effort to develop electronic copies of Love’s Worrorra - English vocabulary and the Gospels of Mark and Luke.  Dictionaries and developing language learning resources will now be informed by the early work of JRB Love. The congregation would like to use Worrorra Gospel portions and songs in church and ministry.

This project acknowledges a positive contribution made by the Presbyterian church in early contact years.  A collaborative project in language preservation, Scripture use and literacy has been a very sensitive and practical expression of respect for members of the church and community.  In 20011-2012, this project has been in recess while the Indigenous Presbytery (NRCC) seeks to employ a full-time Support Worker for the church in West Kimberley.