Mackay – Indigenous Languages Recording Workshop

The recent workshop was the next step in the Mackay region language revival journey.

Since the first Information gathering workshop in 2015 Mackay Regional Council Libraries, Norell Binsiar, State Library and members of the Yuwibara people have been busy compiling a dictionary using the Miromaa Language Software program.

The outcome of the latest workshop is to transform the current Yuwibara language wordlist [1 000 plus words/phrases] in the Miromaa Language Software Program into a basic language app for community members to practice and learn the language. The app is another way to ensure language is preserved and passed onto future generations.

Members of the Yuwibara people worked with the Mackay Regional Council and State Library of Queensland to translate record and digitally save the wordlist. Once the recordings are completed a smartphone application will be developed.

Participants were introduced to recording devices and apps as tools to create recordings to add to Miromaa. The following technologies were demonstrated and used to record the language words Audacity, Zoom H1 & H4 Recorders and iPad App – Voice Recorder & Audio Editor.

Read more about the app


ABC Tropical North [Rachel Riga] spoke with the State Library Indigenous Languages Co-ordinator Des Crump, Traditional owner Veronica Ah-Wang and Yuwibara descendant Deb Netuschil. The interviews discuss the importance of reviving and keeping the language alive and how this is being achieved.

Click on the link below to listen to the interviews.

As we worked our way through the word lists we were unable to find the language word for “platypus”.Please help us find the Indigenous language words for platypus from the Mackay region.

Over half the words in the Mackay languages Miromaa database have now been recorded and saved.

The workshop ended with the group discussing future directions for language revival and associated activities in Mackay Region.

Rose Warsow

Indigenous Languages, Project Officer, State Library of Queensland