Weelam Ngalut (Our Place)

Weelam Ngalut (Our Place) (2018) welcomes students and visitors of Monash University to learn and speak languages of the First Peoples of Australian east coast – Koories, Goories, Murri’s and Wik peoples.

Weelam Ngalut (Our Place) marks our presence in the land here.

Talk with us, learn with us and walk with us to a place of knowledge, a place of sharing culture and a place for learning.

First we learn to speak, then we see the leaves of the trees in the path which guide us to the Weelam and the Tarnuk. The Weelam is a form of Aboriginal architecture and reminds us of humbleness and the time before big buildings. It provides shelter from the wind and a place to have fire for warmth and cooking. The Tarnuk is a permanent water vessel for the home made from a gnarl in a big old tree, hollowed and burnt out by hand.

Look closely at the Tarnuk, you can see the work of the ancestors.

Read more.

Weelam Ngalut (Our Place) in Woiwurrung Language, the language of the first peoples belonging to the Kulin Nation, we give gratitude and pay respects to ancestors of the past and leaders, who walk to the future with knowledge of time and country.

Weelam Ngalut
Weelam Ngalut yura gurrangnam Monashja ngumbi ganaba balgagu
Maguydanjin gana walarr yari
Goorijin yada Australiajajen yarabinba
Koorijin goorijin murrijin Wikbarra
Ngaliyaba jagi jarala gagam
Ngali walarrili
Ngali ganili
Ngali yanili
Ganaba jagijin marumba mangargen balgagu
Yada ngali walarr
Ngali gadal mangargen ngayiga
Bambaran ngali bagandigu Weelam yigi Tarnuk
Weelam ngumbijen goori
Gahwalingu gana marumba, galuhma gurumba bajara ngumbijin
Weelam ngumbijen choongai gari
ngumbi jarlo bibanunga jabiyilinya balgagu
Tarnuk dabiyil dadaguga nagam ngumbila
yagabiliny gundin mangarla gurumba baje
bural gabiriyi gabalany jarlo marajen
Tarnuk ngayiga mil yagajen jagijinla goorijin bage.
– Jandai walgurr – Jandai language text by Sandra Delaney

Weelam Ngalut – Translation notes
Weelam Ngalut yura gurrangnam Monashja[1] ngumbi[2] ganaba[3] balgagu
Weelam Ngalut welcomes people to come to the camp of Monash, the place of understanding and knowing
Maguydanjin gana walarr yari [4]
To learn, understand, speak and share stories [5]
Goorijin yada Australiajajen yarabinba
Of the First Peoples of the Australian east coast country [place of the sea][6]
Koorijin Goorijin,[7] Murrijin, Wikbarra
Koories,Goories, Murri’s and Wik peoples
Ngaliyaba jagi jarala gagam
Our place and our tribal[8] spirit is in the land here
Ngali walarrili[9]
Talk with us
Ngali ganili[10]
Learn with us

Ngali yanili[11]
Walk with us
Ganaba jagijin marumba mangargen balgagu
To the place of understanding – to the good spirits of the sacred old gum tree, come

Yada ngali walarr
First we speak [talk]

Ngali gadal mangargen ngayiga
We see the leaves of the sacred gum tree
Bambaran ngali bagandigu Weelam yigi Tarnuk
On the path that brings us to Weelam also Tarnuk
Weelam ngumbijen goori
The weelam is a form of Aboriginal architecture
Gahwalingu gana marumba, galuhma gurumba bajara ngumbijin
think about the good of long time ago, long ago (before) big footprint and camps
Weelam ngumbijen choongai gari
weelam gives shelter from the westerly wind
ngumbi jarlo bibanunga jabiyilinya balgagu
and a place to come to have fire for warmth and eating
Tarnuk dabiyil dadaguga[12] nagam ngumbila
Tarnuk is a permanent water vessel for the home
yagabiliny gundin[13] mangarla gurumba baje
made from the gnarl of a big old gum tree
bural gabiriyi gabalany jarlo marajen
cut out of an empty log and burnt out by hand

Tarnuk ngayiga mil yagajen jagijinla goorijin bage.
Look at the Tarnuk and the eye sees the work of the spirit of our ancestors.

Weelam Ngalut (Our Place)
Weelam Ngalut (Our Place) welcomes students and visitors of Monash University to learn and speak languages of the First Peoples of Australian east coast – Koories, Goories, Murri’s and Wik peoples.
Weelam Ngalut (Our Place) marks our presence in the land here.
Talk with us, learn with us and walk with us to a place of knowledge, a place of sharing culture and a place for learning.
First we learn to speak, then we see the leaves of the trees in the path which guide us to the Weelam and the Tarnuk*. The Weelam is a form of Aboriginal architecture and reminds us of humbleness and the time before big buildings. It provides shelter from the wind and a place to have fire for warmth and cooking. The Tarnuk is a permanent water vessel for the home made from a gnarl in a big old tree, hollowed and burnt out by hand.
Look closely at the Tarnuk, you can see the work of the ancestors.
– Megan Cope
*Works in progress
[1] Ground of Monash University.
[2] I’ve put in ngumbi as it denotes a structure.
[3] Gana – know, think, understand, add ‘ba’ – place of.
[4] Thought about putting ‘lingo’ for language but I didn’t want
to use an Anglicised word.
[5] There is no word for language as Jandai means no.
Also, I didn’t want to use the word ‘lingo’ as it is Anglicised
so I used the word for story/stories as it relates to oral histories,
writing, sharing etc., in the context of the University.
[6] Our sea country is east – we go east.
[7] SEQ are Goori people, in particular Quandamooka.
[8] ‘Tribal’ is in the reference material and I quite like this word.
It feels like a strong word that speaks of ancestral old ways.
[9] I have added a suffix ‘ili’ which indicates a reflective action –
both parties doing. In doing so, had to drop a vowel.
[10] I have added a suffix ‘ili’ which indicates a reflective action –
both parties doing but, in doing so, had to drop a vowel.

[11] I have added a suffix ‘ili’ which indicates a reflective action –
both parties doing but, in doing so, had to drop a vowel.
[12] This is a new word meaning ‘here and strong – permanent’.
[13] Gundin is a small shield made of wood but I’ve used it in this
context as it looks like a little shield in a big old tree.

Sandra Delaney is a proud Noonuccal, Ngugi and Goenpul woman from the Quandamooka area, south-east Queensland. Jandai is the language spoken on Quandamooka country and is a dialect of the Yugerra language. As a child, Sandra grew up speaking certain words of her traditional language, as did most other members of the community. Now she is a passionate advocate for revitalising language and making it part of everyday life. Sandra has worked on a number of language revitalisation projects, including language workshops and, more recently, the publication of cultural and language resources. Sandra feels privileged to be able to support language retrieval in whatever way she can – with local families, community and organisations and in the workplace.

This project has been assisted by the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund.