We all speak for our own Country and have many different languages including the Yolŋu languages of Ganalbingu, Dhuwal, Djadiwitji and Wagilak as well as Rembarrnga spoken by Bi people located in the west and with strong connections to our neighbours further west.
Our languages are the code that unlocks everything we need to know about who we are and how to behave. Like husband and wife our Yolŋu Matha languages are married — one is Dhuwa and the other is Yirritja.
For example, Djinba language from the Goyder is Dhuwa and married to the Yirritja language Ganhalpuyngu from Gurruwiling. The Goyder River feeds the Arafura Swamp — they need each other and belong together.
Our stories, languages, ceremonies, and law direct us in how to carry out our responsibilities, our stories give us meaning and are how we transfer our knowledge and wisdom.
As children we begin to learn about our responsibilities and our country from the stories we hear from families. As adults we are the guardians and teachers of those stories
Stories belong to our languages and our languages belong to our stories. Both are kept alive by young and old walking and talking on country. This is the proper way for knowledge to be learned and shared.
Healthy Country Plan
We know that the land needs its people to care for it and to keep it healthy. In the same way we know that caring for the country keeps us healthy – physically, spiritually and mentally.