Batchelor Course Birriyakwong

Graduate birriyimeng, Batchelor College.

Photos by Kevin Arthur, BIITE.

Tom Wood and Raymond Guymala have a planning discussion the day before their trip from Gunbalanya to Batchelor College on 20 June 2013 for their graduation ceremony at Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education (Certificate 2 in Construction). Thanks to Andy Peart, CDEP Training Officer at Gunbalanya for the recording and thanks to Kevin Arthur (BIITE) for the photos. Thanks to Tom Wood and Raymond Guymala too.

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T= Tom, R= Raymond, A= Andy Peart.

[00:00:00.00] R: Tom, wanjh balekeno ngarri-re malayi?

[00:00:04.06] T: malaywi karri-re

[00:00:06.12] R: balekeno kukabel?

[00:00:09.00] T: kukabel karri-re o kumurrng

[00:00:12.24] T: nungka njaleken karri-re?

[00:00:16.12] R: graduate

[00:00:19.04] T: graduate karri-yime

[00:00:19.24] T: kore birri-wern?

[00:00:23.03] R: mulil

[00:00:25.23] T: malayi karri-re, kumurrng, kukabel

[00:00:32.06] T: karri-dungbebme

[00:00:33.20] T: kareh kanjdji kah-dungyo kah-kakyo wanjh karri-dolkkan kunukka six o'clock

[00:00:40.05] T: darnki kah-bebme name karri-re karri-bolkbawon Kunbarlanja

[00:00:43.22] T: seven o'clock mani bas karri-mang mani manu ka-bidbun, kan-bekkan

[00:00:51.23] R: wo kurebeh wanjh ngarr-ngokkowiyidurndeng

[00:00:55.19] yo, karri-ngokkowiyidurndeng

[00:01:00.19] A: njale, njale kabirri-re?

[00:01:02.23] T: murrika karri-re, mandengeyi

[00:01:05.05] R: murrika ngarri-re

[00:01:06.01] mandengeyi

[00:01:22.02] A: Bale ngurri-borlbmeng?

[00:01:09.20] R: aa... building

[00:01:10.18] building, building construction ngarri-re... manekke, ...graduate ngarri-yime

[00:01:15.13] R: graduate


balekeno when

malayi, malaywi tomorrow

-re to go

kukabel morning

njaleken why

-dungbebme 1. arrive in daylight 2. morning rising of the sun

name short version of namekke that

kunukka like that, at that time, that topic mentioned

-mang to get

-bolkbawon leave a place, depart from a place

kurebeh other side, at the other place/other end

ngokkowi evening

-ngokkowiyidurndeng return in the evening

murrika, mandengeyi motor vehicle (car, truck)

-borlbme to learn, to become accustomed to

manekke that, that thing mentioned (of man- class)

njale what, how

wanjh then (sequential)

-dungyo sun be located, exist

-bidbun, go up, go upland

mulil lots, many (also a ceremony name)


That is all.

Bim Nawakadj Nuye

Nawakadj Don Namundja bimbom mahni bim yahwurd...

Nawakadj Don Namundja does a little painting...

Injalak Arts Worker Danny Kennedy interviews Don Namundja about a recent painting:

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Danny Kennedy: Yo Nawakadj, yi-yolyolme bu njale yi-bimbom.

Yes Nawakadj, can you explain what you have painted.

Nawakadj: Aa, mane, ngarduk kore ngadberre nga-bimbom, yo kore kun-red. Mankorlod, kun-red. Man-me mani man-kodjbang, nani djerrh, mane karrbarda, mane man-kulurrudj, djankele, yo manu ku-wardde ka-rri yi-bengkan? Djal bonj.

Oh, this here, it's mine, I painted things that belong to us, yes at [my] country. Mankorlod is the place. There are food plants— water peanuts (Aponogeton elongatus), this is a dilly bag, this is a long yam (Dioscorea transversa), this is a Livistonia sand palm and this is a Livistonia palm that grows in the rock country, you know that one? That's all.

Ngalwalngurru 'chameleon dragon'


chameleon dragon Chelosania brunnea

photo ©: Australian Wildlife Conservancy/Andrew Morton

Nawu Warddeken kabirridurrkmirri, birringalkeng mayh nawu karringeybun ngalwalngurru. Yika mak kabirringeybun mak alwalngurru (Kundedjnjenghmi) dja walwalngurru (Kune). Konda kayolyolme Nabangardi Nabordoh ngalekke mayh alwalngurru.

The Warddeken rangers found a chameleon dragon which is called alwalngurru in Bininj Gunwok. This is its name in Kundedjnjenghmi but it is also called walwalngurru in Kune. In this post you can hear Nabangardi Terrah Guymala talking about this lizard which is culturally important for bininj.

But first how to say the name:

Bale karriyime karringeybun? al-wal-ngurru

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Nabangardi Terrah kayolyolme alwalngurru-ken:

Nabangardi Terrah talks about the chameleon dragon. Follow the transcript below.

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[00:00:05.08] yoh, njamed ngalwalngurru

yes, whatsit, the chameleon dragon

[00:00:09.10] kangeyyo namenge mayh

that's what this animal is called

[00:00:11.08] ngalwangurru, name kukbameng

the chameleon dragon has a light coloured body

[00:00:15.17] yika njamed ka-kurlah...bikahmen bu ngamed kore

and sometimes it can change its skin colour when its on

[00:00:22.21] bale karriyime nameke kurrulk o kuwardde

what is it, when its on a tree or a rock (changes to the colour of the background)

[00:00:25.00] sometime change kayime

sometimes it can change itself

[00:00:25.24] bad nameke ngalwangurru nakka bedberre djang

but the chameleon dragon is a totemic emblem for them

[00:00:29.00] Djordi-ken, kadjangdi kaddum Kodwalewale

the people from the Djordi clan and the sacred site for it is upstream in the Kodwalewale estate

[00:00:33.05] dja Nabelan kunred kayimarnedjangdi

an estate also referred to as Nabelan, that is the place where the sacred site is located

[00:00:38.20] alwalngurru ngalekke

she is the chameleon dragon

[00:00:41.07] djang

a totemic emblem/sacred site

[00:00:41.19] en korrokoni konda ngarridi ngarrinani bu ngarrimwam

long ago when we came here we used to see them all around wherever we went

[00:00:45.24] konda kaberrkdi kore redwakbuni bad bolkkime ngarriyawam

here they were everywhere running around the place but today we had to look hard for one

[00:00:49.12] bad ngarringalkeng wanjh boyen ngarriwam manekke ngamed

but we did find one and recently when we went to what's that place, um

[00:00:54.02] Ngangkan ngarrihyoy Ngurlken ngarridurrkmirri warridj kume ngarringalkeng

we went to Ngangkan, camping out for a few days, and we were working there also and we found one

[00:00:59.23] wanjh kahdi wanjh ngarrinjilngmakminj mane mak nawu birri-bih...

when we found it we felt glad because they

[00:01:02.05] nawu, nawu djang birridjangweleng birrinjilngmakminj bu birrinang

those people who are the owners of this totem, they felt very happy to see it

[00:01:05.12] karra-, karrarrkiddi

still alive and well

[00:01:07.15] bu name kayakmen wanjh njale wurdurd nawu birri-, birri-, birri-bika nawu kabirrimre nanih nawu

but if it was ever to disappear, then the next generation of children who grow up

[00:01:12.03] wurdurd nawu yiman kayime Bulanjngong

those children of the Bulanj subsection

[00:01:14.20] nawu kabindiyawbornan o Ngarridjngong yerre minj

whose fathers are of this clan or maybe all the Ngarridj subsection people, then they would not

[00:01:16.23] kabindimarnemulewan korre nani djang kadberre (ngunkurrmi?) njale djang ngarrkukwakwan

be able to tell those children about that sacred site and that totem, "what totem, we know nothing about it" (they would have to say)

[00:01:20.07] bad manek important to keep them alive, so we can tell story

so that's why it's important to keep them alive, so we can tell its story

Credits: All recordings by Alys Stevens, Biodiversity Conservation Unit, Northern Territory Government.


That is all.

Beware: the following video contains an image of a recently deceased old lady from Kamarrkawarn and should not be shown to Bininj from that community and nearby outstations.


Yirlinkirrkkirr / Djirnidjirnirrinjken

White-throated Grass Wren

(Amytornis woodwardi)

This post is about a bird endemic to the rock country of Bininj Gunwok speaking people— the white-throated grass wren or yirlinkirrkkirr (in most dialects). In Kune dialect it is called djirnidjirnirrinjken.

Nahni ngurriwokbekkan kobohbanj banibokenh kabarriyolyolme bu yirlinkirrkkirrk-ken.

    photo © Warddeken Land Management Ltd and Peter Cooke.

Click on the audio to hear how to pronounce yirlinkirrkkirr or the Kune version djirnidjirnirrinjken.


yirlinkirrkkirr MaryK < yibiddjuyme ba yiwokbekkan yirlinkirrkkirr (click to listen)


3_IvanN_WTGW_Kune_11_04_2012_djirnidjirnirrinjken < yibiddjuyme ba yiwokbekkan djirnidjirnirrinjken

Nakangila Ivan Namarnyilk: Nane namekke kikkik name kangeyyo, njamed namekke, ngarringeybun nanih, djirnidjirnirrinjken, djirnidjirnirrinjken.

Nakangila Ivan Namarnyilk: This bird has a name and this is how we say its name— (repeated)
djirnidjirnirrinjken, djirnidjirnirrinjken

In the following 4 audio files and transcript, you can hear two senior knowledgeable women Kodjdjan Mary Naborlhborlh and Kodjdjan Mary Kolkkiwarra talking to their grandson and Warddeken land management ranger Nakamarrang Gavin Namarnyilk as he seeks to learn something about this special little bird only found in the rock country of Western Arnhem Land and Kakadu National Park.

Yirlinkirrkkirr audio 1of 4 yibiddjuyme ba yiwokbekkan (clear here to listen, file 1 of 4)

[00:00:00.00] Yirlinkirrkkirr

[00:00:01.22] GN: Bale kore karri bale kabolkyime laik yimulewa.

Where does it live, can you say something about it.

[00:00:05.00] MK: Kuwarddewardde karri.

It lives in the rock country.

[00:00:08.01] MK: Yiman kayime Kamarrkawarn karri kore kanjdjikanjdji, ankebkakebkali.

You can find them at Kamarrkawarn down on the river by the edge of the rocks where they meet the savanna.

[00:00:13.10] MK: Yiman kayime anywhere yiman kayime mani any side kore malayi wanjh start moving ngurrimang ngurrire.

Anywhere there, such as any side (near the rocks) so tomorrow when you start moving around there, that's where you go.

[00:00:20.21] MN: Yo

[00:00:21.12] MK: Kare kumeke kuwarddewardde ngurribekkan kayime "yirlinkirrk-kirrk-kirrk-kirrk" kawokdi.

In that rock country there, listen out for the call "yirlinkirrk-kirrk-kirrk-kirrk".

[00:00:24.00] MN: "yirlinkirrk-kirrk-kirrk-kirrk" kayime kawokdi...nungka.

It goes like that, "yirlinkirrk-kirrk-kirrk-kirrk", that's him.

[00:00:26.18] MK: Kamulewarren nakka woybuk namekke ngaleng ngurrimang name yirlinkirrkkir.

He is saying who he is; for sure you'll be able to find one, the white-throated grass wren.

[00:00:30.11] MN: Yo

Yirlinkirrkkirr audio 2 of 4 yibiddjuyme ba yiwokbekkan (clear here to listen, file 2 of 4)

[00:00:31.00] GN: mm

[00:00:32.00] MN: kamulewarren.

He's saying who he is (talking about himself).

[00:00:32.19] MK: Nanih (?) namekke kabimdihbimdi yirlinkirrkkirr nakka.

These pictures here (computer) are the white-throated grass wren.

[00:00:35.05] MN: Dja kune nawu dedjmudkuyengkuyeng.

And it has very long tail feathers.

[00:00:38.19] MK: Nahni.

This one.

[00:00:40.16] MN: Nane (something) njalenjale

and various other features

[00:00:42.01] MK: Namekkengong wanjh name yirlinkirrkkirr.

These birds (in the photos) are all the white-throated grass wren.

[00:00:42.22] MN: namekke nahni, ngoyo?? nani nawu

that one there, that's him

[00:00:45.15] GN: So Kamarrkawarn karri konda karri?

So it lives here at Kamarrkawarn?

[00:00:48.08] MK: Konda karri.

It lives around here.

[00:00:49.11] MN: Nganmoyi karri...konda karri.

It's also at Manmoyi... it lives here.

[00:00:50.24] MK: Wardi konda bu kare karri bad...

It must also be living around here...

[00:00:55.07] MK: wardi ngurridjalyawayawan dja ngaye mak ngadjalyime bu marrek kareh karri wardi o maitbi, karri, because kuwardde karri nakka.

Just try and have a look around. I'm only assuming you'll find there because it's the right kind of habitat in the rock country there.

[00:01:01.24] MN: mm karri ngurribekkan kawokdiwokdi.

It's there, just listen out for its call.

[00:01:03.07] MK: Mani Ankung Djang area kanjdji karri ankebkali yirlinkirrkkirr

It's also in the Ankung Djang (Honey Dreaming) area on the lowland areas by the edge of rocky escarpment lines, the white-throated grass wren.

[00:01:06.16] MN: Karri

It's there.

Yirlinkirrkkirr 3 of 4 < yibiddjuyme ba yiwokbekkan (clear here to listen, file 3 of 4)
[00:01:07.23] MK: Ngurrire ngurringalke.

Go there and you will find it.

[00:01:10.04] GN: Try namekke malayi ngarrire ngarriyawan ane ngaleh ngandibidyikarrme.

We'll try to go there tomorrow and look for it but we need your help (two elders).

[00:01:17.01] MN: Yo wanjh ngurriyawan ngurribekkan kawokdiwokdi.

Yes, go then and listen to its call when you are looking for it.

[00:01:20.21] MN: Bu karriwokbekkan. Kawokdi nungkakih.

Let's listen to it talking (on audio recording). It will speak, that's it now.

[00:01:29.01] MK: Yirlinkirrkkirr!

White-throated grass wren!

[00:01:29.19] MN: Nungkakih

That's it now.

[00:01:30.21] (kawokdi yirlinkirrkkirr)

(the white-throated grass wren calls)

[00:01:35.19] GN: (to ecologist Alys Stevens) Where did you record it?

[00:01:37.00] Alys: Kakadu

[00:01:40.01] MN: Nungkakih

That's it now.

Yirlinkirrkkirr 4 of 4 < yibiddjuyme ba yiwokbekkan (clear here to listen, file 4 of 4)

[00:01:43.02] GN: Yiwokbekkang?

Can you hear it speaking?

[00:01:44.19] (kawokdi Yirlinkirrkkirr yerre)

(the white-throated grass wren still singing)

[00:01:44.19] MN: Med yibekkan.

Hang on, listen.

[00:01:48.08] (bird)

[00:01:53.06] MN: Nungkakih ... yibekkan.

Listen... that's it now!

[00:01:56.12] MK: Kore kuwardde bawokmangi o bale kungarre?

Where did she (Alys) record it— in the rock country or where, in a thicket?

[00:01:59.03] GN: Kakadu.

[00:01:59.15] MK: Kungarre?

In thick bush?

[00:02:00.10] Alys: Gunlom

[00:02:01.17] All: Gunlom

[00:02:03.10] MN: Gunlom bawokmey.

She recorded it at Gunlom.

[00:02:04.16] GN: Gunlom bawokmey.

She recorded it at Gunlom.

[00:02:05.19] MK: Nungkakih

That's it now.

[00:02:06.10] Ngalbuyika: Nungkakih

That's it now.

[00:02:08.24] MN: mm nungkakih

mm, that's it now.

If you only want to hear the song of yirlinkirrkkirr, click below:

wtgrasswren < Konda yibiddjuyme bu yidjare yiwokbekkan namekke mayhmayh kawokdi.

Thanks to Alys Stevens from the Biodiversity Conservation Unit, Northern Territory Government for making these recordings and to the two Kodjdjan, Mary Kolkkiwarra (left) and Mary Naborlhborlh (right) for their knowledge about the birds. Thanks also to Peter Cooke for the excellent yirlinkirrkkirr photo and to Maningrida Djelk Ranger Ivan Namarnyilk for the Kune pronunciation.


That is all.

Jabiru School Print Workshops

Jabiru Area School Print Workshops 2012

Stuart Whitby's Art Class

With guest printmakers and former Jabiru residents Diane and Andrew Blake

(place cursor over image and select the full screen icon to view portrait orientation images without clipping)

Bulanj Murray kabendjawan yawurrinj nawu birrihbimmarnbom.

Murray Garde talks with 3 Jabiru School students about their prints—Jimmy Marimowa, Cuisak Nango and Hezekiah Lane.


JAS Jimmy namarrkon edited

[00:00:00] Jimmy: Ngaye Jimmy Marimowa

I am Jimmy Marimowa.

[00:00:02] MG: Jimmy yingeyyo, en kunred ke baleh?

Your name is Jimmy, and where is your country?

[00:00:05] Jimmy: Minjilang

[00:00:06] MG: Minjilang. Ngudda Minjilang beh.

Minjilang, you're from Minjilang.

[00:00:09] MG: Nanih, njale yibimbom?

What have you painted?

[00:00:11] Jimmy: Namarrkon.

Lightning Spirit.

[00:00:12] MG: Namarrkon, and njale... njale kakarrme?

The Lightning Spirit, and what does he have?

[00:00:15] Njamed axe, dadken.

Whatsit, an axe, stone axe.

[00:00:18] MG: Yoh, kaburriwe ey?

Yes, he throws it ey?

[00:00:19] Jimmy: kaburriwe

He throws it.

[00:00:20] Nakodjok: karrong.

He strikes with it.

[00:00:21] MG: Karrong! Kamayhke!

He strikes with flashes of lightning.

[00:00:22] Jimmy: Yoh.


[00:00:23] MG: Balekeno karrinan bu kamayhke? Yiman kayime kurrung ey.

When do we see those flashes of lightning? Like in kurrung season ey?

[00:00:29] Jimmy: Yowey.


[00:00:30] MG: Yoh, kunumeleng, kurrung.

Yes, in kunumeleng and kurrung seasons.

JAS Nakodjok mimih edited

[00:00:00.00] MG: Kunkurn bale yikurn ngudda?

Skin name, what is your skin name?

[00:00:01.14] Cuisak: Nakodjok

[00:00:02.06] MG: Nakodjok

[00:00:02.22] Cuisak: Wamud

(also known alternatively as) Wamud

[00:00:03.14] MG: Wamud, en njale yibimbom Wamud?

Wamud, so what have you painted/printed Wamud?

[00:00:05.17] Cuisak: Mimih

[00:00:06.14] MG: Mimih, wardi, wardi yiyolyolme, kalobme o bale?

Can you tell me about this mimih, is he running?

[00:00:10.11] Cuisak: yo


[00:00:11.06] MG: Kalobme. Baleh karringalke mimih?

He's running. Where do we find mimih spirits?

[00:00:14.06] Cuisak: Kuwardde.

In the rock country.

[00:00:15.03] MG: Kuwardde yo. Yinang mimih ngudda?

In the rock country yes. Have you seen a mimih?

[00:00:18.07] Cuisak: Larrk, only nganang njamed, paint ngayime,

No, I've only seen... I've only painted them.

[00:00:22.12] MG: Yo. Yidjalbimbom.

Yes, you've just painted one.

[00:00:23.24] Cuisak: Yo birridjalbimbom kore kuwardde.

Yes, they just paint them in the rock shelters.

[00:00:26.14] MG: mm, ma bonj kamak.

mm OK then, that's great.

[00:00:27.16] Cuisak: Ma

OK then.

JAS nganabbarru malimali edited

[00:00:00.00] MG: Ngudda, ngudda njale yibimbom?

And what have you, what have you painted/printed?

[00:00:02.19] Hezekiah: Nganabbarru

A buffalo.

[00:00:04.08] MG: Nganabbarru o yoh. Ngannabbarru, ngudda nganabbarru yingun?

Oh yes, a buffalo. Do you eat buffalo (meat)?

[00:00:08.17] Hezekiah: yoh


[00:00:09.15] MG: En baleh kabirribun nganabbarru?

And where do they hunt buffalo?

[00:00:11.16] Hezekiah:  mm kore bush.

um in the bush

[00:00:13.03] MG: Kore bush. Kunred ke baleh?

In the bush. Where is your country?

[00:00:15.22] Hezekiah: Malimali.

[00:00:17.00] MG: Malimali, kunred? Kumekke nganabbarru nawern?

Malimali, that place ey? Are there many buffalo there?

[00:00:20.17] Hezekiah: mm nawern.

mm many

[00:00:21.13] MG: Yinang?

Have you seen them (there)?

[00:00:22.10] Hezekiah:  yoh


[00:00:23.09] MG: Ma, bonj.

OK that's all.



That is all.