Noongar Languages

Kaya Wandjoo.

Ngany kaadatj koora koora, yeyi wer boordakan moort nidja Wadjak wer Pindjarup boodja-k.


Hello and welcome. I acknowledge the traditional owners past, present and future of this land.

Secret Harbour Primary School is leading the way to establish a teaching program of the local Aboriginal people’s language. Our school is on borderline country, between the Wadjak and Pindjarup Aboriginal lands. We are proud to be able to offer students the opportunity to learn the local Noongar language and teach the Wadjak Noongar dialect.

The Noongar language, specifically Wadjak dialect is taught as one of our Language Other Than English (LOTE) subjects to pre-primary, year 1 and year 2 students as part of our curriculum. Students are introduced to the language through song, story, dance, drama and games. Students are able to understand the connectedness between people, country, animals and plants. They learn the importance of culture, land and family to Aboriginal people. 


Topics are taught that students are able to easily engage with, learning in a fun and creative manner. Themes covered include learning about seasons, greetings, country, animals, feelings, colours, actions and numbers. As this is a new branch of language learning, our school is pioneering to add an increasing amount of language use and topics for our students. Weekly, students have a lesson provided by Birdiya Collard to introduce students to Noongar language use.


Birdiya Collard is currently in her final year of training offered through the Education Department of WA in the Aboriginal Languages Teacher Training. The Education Department is acknowledging and supporting the teaching of local Aboriginal languages within the school system in a move towards reconciliation. The language program offered at the school is improving the understanding of Aboriginal cultures and peoples of Australia and recognising through respect the significance of providing this two way education system. 


The Noongar Elders who established the Marribank system of spelling and language use is endorsed by the Department of Education in WA. As the Noongar language, historically, was never a written language, there is no standard spelling system. Different dialects of speaking and therefore written form may differ from language group to language group within Western Australia. However, at Secret Harbour Primary School the Marribank system is taught, which was agreed upon by recognised Elders from the Aboriginal community in the 1990’s.