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Language programs receive funding boost

[by Michelle White]


Lullabies Bunbury. Image: CAN Team

Do you want to help your community decode the Noongar place names in your area?
Would you like to bring people together to learn how to write and record legacy songs in

Community Arts Network (CAN) is keen to hear from councils, community groups and organisations eager to partner with us to deliver our flagship Noongar language programs, Place Names and Lullabies.

“We’re delighted to announce that both of these hugely successful programs have received an additional three years funding from the Federal Government’s Indigenous Languages and Arts program. While we have identified some metro and regional partners, we would like to hear from others who are interested in hosting these exciting community arts initiatives,” said CAN’s CEO Wendy Martin.

The Lullabies and Place Names workshops are Noongar led and are for Aboriginal families only.

However, the creative content created and the cultural knowledge gathered during these
programs have profound benefits for everyone in the communities where they are delivered.

Both these programs will also offer community arts mentoring and training placements for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

“The aim is not only deliver these life changing programs to communities, but embed the skills to continue offering them long after CAN has left,” said Ms Martin.

Place Names is presented in partnership with Moodjar Consultancy. The process uses Professor Len Collard’s Place Names research as the catalyst to creatively engage communities to share their knowledge and unpack the meanings and stories behind Noongar place names.

Lullabies supports Aboriginal families to learn Noongar language and to write and record their own original lullabies as a legacy for future generations. Noongar is considered a critically endangered language because there are so few fluent speakers.

To date, Place Names and Lullabies have been delivered in Fremantle, Moora, Langford, Katanning, Albany, Melville, Collie, Midvale, Bunbury, Mandurah, Northam and during the pandemic in 2020 - online.

Both programs have produced inspirational community outcomes.

Highlights include:


  • Langford’s embroidered cultural map was acquired by Boola Bardip - WA Museum.

  • The Walyalup/Fremantle cultural map was acquired by the Fremantle Council.

  • Albany’s Noongar Boodja documentary has been featured at multiple film festivals in WA.

  • Lullabies has produced more than 60 original songs, mostly in Noongar.

  • Lullabies was awarded Program of the Year at the 2021 Perth NAIDOC Awards.

  • Cyndy Moody’s lullaby ‘My Kid’ won WAM Country Song of the Year.

  • Djinda Djinda video won a national ATOM award for best Indigenous video.


The ILA program supports Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to express, preserve and maintain their cultures through languages and arts activities around Australia..



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