Muurrbay Aboriginal Language and
Culture Co-op
14 Bellwood Road
Telephone: 02 65 694 294

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Mayalambala teaching resource available online

The language teaching resource Mayalambala is now available electronically, thanks to a collaboration between Muurrbay and Sydney Aboriginal Languages and Computing’s Cat Kutay.

Mayalambala bush scene

Mayalambala bush scene

Mayalambala is an innovative teaching resource that supports the teaching of Aboriginal languages. It consists of three background posters ‘In the Bush’, ‘At the Beach’ and ‘At Home’, and over two hundred pictures of people and things that can be manipulated. A User’s Guide for Gumbaynggirr suggests a sequence that allows for a gradual increase in the vocabulary and grammatical features taught, and may be adapted to other languages.

This resource has been inspired by Asher’s Total Physical Response approach which focuses on learners developing their comprehension skills, as seen in their physical response to commands, before they are expected to respond verbally. Several Gumbaynggirr language teachers have successfully used this approach, so we have developed posters and pictures that are appropriate for Aboriginal languages of coastal NSW, and beyond. Teachers are now using this resource on electronic whiteboards; this allows students to move the small pictures around on the various backgrounds.

If you have any ideas or suggestions, feel free to contact us.

The images can be downloaded in small, medium and large size in a zip folder, as well as the three backgrounds, on the links below:

Large sized images please click here  Medium sized images please click here  Small sized images please click here

All original images can be downloaded, as a zip file, please click here   Please note, the original images are all different sizes.

The three backgrounds are beach, bush and house.  Please right click on the picture and click Save Target As.  Then navigate to the folder where you would like to download the pictures to and click save.  

Mayalambala bush scene

Mayalambala bush scene

Mayalambala house scene









Mayalambala beach scene


Gumbaynggirr taught at Muurrbay in 2012.

The Certificate II in Gumbaynggirr Language and Culture Maintenance is taught every Friday in TAFE term time to an enthusiastic group of largely Gumbaynggirr students, some of whom are already working in schools, and will pass on  the language to other adults and children. For the last 20 years Muurrbay Language Centre has fostered the revival in the local Goori community of Gumbaynggirr language and culture , especially by providing recognised Certificate courses.

Towards the end of 2011 Muurrbay started a pilot program aimed at Gooris in education (schools, TAFE, institutions, organisations). The initiative from principals of several schools in the Nambucca Valley and elsewhere has made this viable, for employed people have been encouraged to attend the course (Friday mornings from 9:00 – 12:00) as part of their school program.

Gumbaynggirr language class with teachers Gary Williams and Steve Morelli

Gumbaynggirr language class with teachers Gary Williams and Steve Morelli

Expected outcomes:

For participants:

• Deepening of knowledge and appreciation of local language, songs, stories, places and culture.

• Knowledge and confidence in sharing this knowledge with others

• On successful completion of the course: Certificate II (AQF) in Gumbaynggirr Language and Culture Maintenance recognised by Australian Government body ASQA

• Making new career pathways possible in language / culture teaching

For Schools:

• Human resources that will foster Aboriginal perspectives

• Increased viability of Aboriginal Language and culture programs

• Pride and ownership of school programs especially in Goori students

For the Aboriginal community:

• Ensuring that language and culture remain strong.


Gathang language taught across three towns


Following the launch of the Gathang dictionary-grammar, there was a strong need for community-based language classes. Members of the Gathang Language Group, Muurrbay-MRALC and North Coast Institute of TAFE worked together to offer a Certificate I in Aboriginal Languages–Gathang.

Jeremy Saunders teaching Gathang in Port Macquarie

Delivered to over forty-five students in Taree, Tuncurry and Port Macquarie in 2011, the course owes it success to three main ingredients: from day one there have been Gathang people team teaching with the support of Muurrbay-MRALC teacher-linguists; a lively curriculum based on communicating in the language; and a strong research foundation in the grammar–dictionary. Muurrbay linguist Julie Long has utilised the Accelerated Second Language Acquisition  teaching approach, developed by Stephen Neyooxet Greymorning, an Arapaho teacher from Montana, which has meant that classes focus on communication.

In 2012, the Cert I will again be offered in Taree and Tuncurry, while the Certificate II is under development.