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About Coordinate: Supporting Indigenous Scriptures

Coordinate exists to encourage and facilitate the translation of the Bible and other resources into Australian Indigenous languages. As a project of the Northern Regional Council of Congress (NRCC), and the Uniting Church in Australia Northern Synod, Coordinate supports scripture projects across four areas in Northern and Central Australia.

Indigenous Scripture projects grow from Indigenous Christians' inspiration and initiative. New and existing networks in Aboriginal communities are fundamental to the ongoing success of these Scripture projects. In this context, Coordinate seeks to nurture partnerships through relationships and local support workers. Coordinate collaborates with other organisations (eg: Australian Society for Indigenous Languages, Bible Society Australia, Nungalinya College), to provide linguistic expertise, training, and new technologies for Indigenous Scripture workers. Coordinate is also involved in raising nation-wide awareness of Indigenous languages and scripture projects.

About the regions

Central Australia

The Pitjantjatjara Shorter Bible, ‘Tjukurpa Palya’ was completed in 2001, and was dedicated at Easter in 2002.  This volume contains the whole New Testament, and about 15% of the Old Testament.  750 books were printed in 2002, and during the intervening 9 years there have been two more reprints of 500, and 700. Tjukurpa Palya is being well used by the Pitjantjatjara people, a group of around 3,000.  It is used extensively in church services and other Christian gatherings, as well as by individual Christians at home and in Bible studies. Read more about Central Australia.

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. Read more about West Kimberley.

North East Arnhem Land

In North East Arnhem Land, Coordinate supports ongoing Scripture work in Yolŋu languages.  In 2008, people in this region celebrated the launch of the New Testament in Djambarrpuyŋu.  In many different ways, Yolŋu Christians are encouraging the use of the Djambarrpuyŋu New Testament in their communities. Read more about North East Arnhem Land.

West Arnhem Land

A group of people in Warruwi, Goulburn Island, commenced work on the Gospel of Mark in January 2009.  Indigenous translators like Rosemary Urabadi, Nancy Ngalmindjalmag and Sandra Makurlngu are supported by church leaders and others to continue drafting this Gospel. Read more about West Arnhem Land.

About Coordinate Partners

Australian Society of Indigenous Languages (AuSIL)
Bible Society in Australia (linguistic consultation, resource development and publication)
NungalinyaCollege (training facility)
Aboriginal Resource and Development Services Inc (ARDS) (agency of the UCA Northern Synod)
Mission Aviation Fellowship (Arnhem Land community airline)