Sensitivity Warning

First Peoples

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples should be aware that this resource may contain images or names of people who have since passed away.


Gumbaynggirr Language and Culture Nest

Stage 1 final report prepared for the Aboriginal Communities of Coffs Harbour, Grafton and Nambucca NSW
First Peoples languages First Peoples education First Nations children Cultural awareness New South Wales

This report belongs to the Aboriginal Communities of Coffs Harbour, Grafton and Nambucca.

Aboriginal Language and Culture Nests were set up following a series of Aboriginal Language Forums coordinated by NSW Aboriginal Education Consultation Group from 2012.
The Gumbaynggirr Language and Culture Nest (the Nest) was launched in Coffs Harbour in 2014.

Based at William Bayldon Public School in Coffs Harbour, the purpose of the nest is to revitalise the Gumbaynggirr Language as an integral part of local traditional Aboriginal culture and identity. Through the nest, opportunities to learn the Gumbaynggirr Language are available to Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal children and young people enrolled in government preschools and schools in these communities.

Key Findings:

  • Community-controlled research involves co-design – this is a way of conducting research with and not on communities. The evaluation team asked communities how they would like information collected, what they think would be a measure of the program’s success, who the team should talk to, and what is the best approach to contact people to be a part of the evaluation.
  • Learning Gumbaynggirr language and culture, and the Culture Nest itself is positive for young people and for the community involved in it.
  • Gumbaynggirr Language and Culture Nest sits in the government school environment, where they are subject to the rules of the education system and decisions by the Principal. The program is not being taken up by every government school – this means that many students within the Gumbaynggirr language footprint do not have an opportunity to learn Gumbaynggirr language.
  • Implementation should begin with developing relationships and learning from existing programs that teach Aboriginal Languages and Culture run by Aboriginal organisations.
  • Aboriginal Language and Culture classes should be based on Aboriginal traditional ways of teaching and learning, learning should focus on oral, not just a written language.


Publication Details
Access Rights Type: