Dja Dja Wurrung language development supported by sculptures at Spring Gully Kinder
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Dja Dja Wurrung language development supported by sculptures at Spring Gully Kinder

by Freya Lucas

January 27, 2023

The Shine Bright Spring Gully Kindergarten community recently celebrated the launch of three animal sculptures which have been installed to acknowledge the renaming of their kinder groups using local First Nations language.


The kindergarten renamed their three kinder groups using the language of the Traditional Owners of the land on which the Kinder stands, the Dja Dja Wurrung peoples, and commissioned local artist RawBoards to create the wooden animal sculptures with their names carved into the artwork.


The sculptures are: 


  •     Guwak (pronounced Gu-wa) – kookaburra 
  •     Gurri (pronounced Gu-ree) – eastern grey kangaroo
  •     Wila (pronounced Wi-la) – brushtail possum


The project was made possible thanks to a $3600 grant from Fosterville Gold Mine and the kindergarten’s Parents Advisory Group who contributed more than $1600 from their fundraising efforts.

With a focus on connecting children with First Nations culture, the bush kinder program is integral to fostering a connection to County, Spring Gully Kindergarten Parents Advisory Group President Emma Bourke said.


“We hope these animal sculptures will further help educate our teachers, students and families about our Indigenous cultures, and increase knowledge and use of our local Dja Dja Wurrung language,” she said.


Speaking on behalf of Fosterville Gold Mine Senior Community Advisor Trudi Jackson said the mine was “thrilled” to have been able to support the project which is an important step forward in integrating First Nations’ culture and language into the education of local children and recognising the importance that First Nations culture plays in shaping cultural identity as Australians.


Shine Bright CEO Suzi Sordan said Shine Bright was “so excited” to launch the installation of the sculptures. 


“Embedding Aboriginal perspectives has long been part of our educational program, and funds from this grant and fundraising efforts supports this further,” she said, thanking the Parent Advisory Group and Fosterville Gold Mine for their contribution, as well as RawBoards for their “incredible, one of a kind sculptures.”


The project was completed with support from Djarra, Shine Bright EYM and the City of Greater Bendigo. 

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