Lets sing! Song is essential to Anangu/Yarnangu life

“We wanted to put curriculum resources out, to put songs out for schools and communities to be able to teach language, sing with kids, for kids to learn their language through having a good time singing.” Said Dr Sam Osborne, the former Principal at the Ernabella Anangu School and current Associate Director for Regional Engagement at UniSA.

On Wednesday the 23rd of November 2022, The Anangu Aboriginal corporation Iwiri who are based in Adelaide, spoke of the ongoing partnership with the University of South Australia (UniSA) to produce high quality first language resources for Anangu/Yarnangu schools.

Most recently, the partnership is developing an app that makes high quality first language music available free to Anangu schools and communities for access via mobile devices. This enables any teacher or community member to become a music and first language teacher.

As part of the interview, Jennifer Ingkatji, Nyunmiti Burton, Rhoda Tjitayi and Dr Sam Osborne all sang in a choir to demonstrate what Iwiri and UniSA hope to achieve with the new app.

Music has long been an integral part of classrooms for learning language and important educational concepts. Likewise, song is essential to knowledge acquisition and intergenerational sharing in Anangu/Yarnangu (Pitjantjatjara, Ngaanyatjarra, Yankunytjatjara) life.

Nyunmiti Burton, a Director of Iwiri and a Pitjantjatjara language teacher, also spoke to CAAMA Radio in her language which Dr Sam Osborne translated.