Dugald Saunders and Aunty Iris Reid

NSW Nationals Member for Dubbo Dugald Saunders has backed a move to ensure important cultural links are preserved by offering a Wiradjuri language online course at TAFE NSW.

Aboriginal cultures are central to the state’s identity and it is through the preservation and nurturing of language that history, and the future, are enriched through storytelling.

“It’s great to see TAFE NSW using innovative online platforms to ensure the Wiradjuri language not only survives but thrives amongst communities,” Mr Saunders said.

“Regardless of whether a student is located at Bourke or in Sydney, TAFE NSW is determined to provide the opportunity for people to learn more about the Wiradjuri culture with the ability to study from where it suits them.”

The Certificate I in Fundamental Aboriginal Languages for Personal Use and the Certificate II in Basic Aboriginal Languages for Social Use are both available to study online, or face-to-face at various TAFE NSW locations across the Western NSW and New England regions.

TAFE NSW Wiradjuri language teacher Aunty Iris Reid, who operates the course alongside student support officer Bianca Daley, is thrilled to be able to share her teaching and culture with many more students.

“I usually travel to Dubbo, Bathurst, Gilgandra, Lithgow, Trangie, Cowra, Orange, Condobolin, Forbes and Peak Hill to teach the course and I look forward to doing that again when COVID-19-related restrictions ease, but for now I’m delivering the course online with the help of Bianca,” she said.

“Teaching these courses to more people not only ensures the stories and language of the Wiradjuri culture are passed on, but it will help to keep the culture and language alive.”