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Mirima Council Aboriginal Corporation

Indigenous language support - Saving Miriwoong

Our mission is to save the unique Miriwoong language and culture from extinction.

Improving lives through language and education is at the heart of our efforts to preserve, maintain and transmit an irreplaceable heritage. The Saving Miriwoong initiative is aimed at revitalising the critically endangered Miriwoong language to ensure it will still be used by future generations. The language has suffered immensely from the ongoing effects of colonisation and social disadvantage and now has only few fluent speakers remaining. At the same time, language is a crucial trait of human identity and its loss can lead to severe trauma and lack of orientation in life, especially in young people. MDWg’s mission to teach the Miriwoong language through a range of projects aims at restoring the sense of identity in children, youth, and adults. Independent research shows that individuals who can speak their mother tongue typically have markedly better physical and mental health, are more likely to attend and complete school, gain employment, and are less likely to abuse alcohol or illicit substances.

What do we do?

We run the Miriwoong Language Nest to ensure that children in Kununurra grow up with a sense of linguistic identity, improving their self-esteem and increasing their prospects of better school achievement. We are currently reaching 400 children a week in schools and early learning centres throughout Kununurra, teaching children in immersion-based sessions that incorporate songs, games and arts and craft activities.

Additionally, weekly Miriwoong radio programs written and created by our Miriwoong Language Workers broadcast the language throughout the East Kimberley. We also publish books and multi-media tools to assist with language learning and cultural maintenance. Back to country trips promote cultural learning between Elders and young people. We need your assistance to operate these vital programs.

Donate to Indigenous Language Support to revitalise the Miriwoong language

The costs of running a language revitalisation program are quite significant. Our team of Miriwoong language teachers works tirelessly to provide over 30 sessions to 400 children each week and we have expansion plans for 2021. A monthly $5 gift will support the delivery of one of those sessions.

According to traditional Miriwoong culture, all kinds of exchange are based on long-lasting partnership and friendship. We hope to continue this tradition by welcoming our supporters to join the Linawoong Program. The word Linawoong can refer to a thought, an idea, or to someone who is generous and keeps giving.

MDWg is largely funded by grants from the Australian Government but with expanding activities and an increasingly difficult funding climate, we are now facing major challenges to continue our work of ensuring the survival of the Miriwoong language and culture. During times where government funding is scarce, not everyone on our team is externally funded, which is why we raise funds through fee for service, room hire - and donations. Even if only some of our more than 2000 followers on social media were to join us as Linawoong sponsors, the outcome would be substantial!

The Linawoong Sponsorship Program is designed for individuals who are not able to make a large contribution to help us in our work, but still want to directly support the revitalisation of Miriwoong, by giving a small donation - as little as $5 monthly. This may not seem much and cost less than a cup of coffee each month, but it will accumulate to $60 per year and actually make a difference. Most importantly, someone who regularly sacrifices a cup of coffee to support our work, becomes a faithful friend whose contribution remains visible to us. Each time even a small donation is made, we receive an e-mail notification and every single one of these notifications makes us smile because someone has thought of us and we realise how significant these gifts are and how much they mean to us. We are acknowledging these faithful contributors by introducing the Linawoong sponsorship level because it is not just larger amounts that will make a difference to us.

To become a Linawoong sponsor, select “Regular donation” and an amount. As a registered charity, we will provide you with an annual tax-deductible donation receipt. 

  • $5 monthly - supports a Miriwoong language lesson for children
  • $7.50 monthly - supports a group of adult learners to engage with one of the few remaining Miriwoong speakers
  • $10 monthly - supports the production of a Miriwoong radio program
  • $20 monthly - supports an educational field trip on country to preserve Miriwoong language
  • $50 monthly - supports the creation of a bilingual audio book

If the Linawoong sponsor agrees, we will list their name (not the amount donated) on our website. We will request your permission first before publishing a name.

We need your help to revitalise the Miriwoong language. Through your generous support, our programs and initiatives can continue for many more years and will contribute notably to our shared goal of Saving Miriwoong, creating a positive future for generations to come. 

“Giving is not just about making a donation. It is about making a difference.” Kathy Calvin 


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