Noongar musicians share rare language with Clarkson students

Gina Williams and Guy Ghouse (back) with Angus Mazurak, Isabel Nedelcu, Priscilla Koh, Harry Gunasegaran and Indigo Ellis.
Gina Williams and Guy Ghouse (back) with Angus Mazurak, Isabel Nedelcu, Priscilla Koh, Harry Gunasegaran and Indigo Ellis.

NOONGAR musicians visited a Clarkson school recently to teach students Aboriginal music.

St Andrew’s Catholic Primary School teacher Judith Birchall said singer-songwriter Gina Williams, a Noongar Ballardong woman, was accompanied by Guy Ghouse on guitar.

Mrs Birchall said the duo taught students the ‘Wandjoo’ song, which meant “welcome”.

“The children were captivated by energy of the music and the enthusiasm of presenters,” she said.

Mrs Birchall said students learnt the Noongar language as part of their regular Languages Other Than English program.

“This workshop embedded why learning our traditional language of the area in which we now live is so important,” she said.

“Gina informed us that there are only about 400 language speakers of Noongar language left and describes Noongar language as being ‘limited edition’ rather than endangered.

“Gina and Guy presented our school with a copy of their CD titled Kalyakoorl which means ‘forever’.”

Assistant principal Fintan Archer said they were “thoroughly entertained” while learning more about Noongar culture during the presentation.