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“Hopefully Other People will carry on our work”: Micklo Jarrett

31 October 2023

He’s been doing it for decades, but Uncle Micklo Jarrett’s enthusiasm for teaching Gumbaynggirr Language is as strong as ever.

Uncle Micklo has taught kids all around Gumbaynggirr country — from Stuarts Point all the way to Grafton on the Mid-North Coast of New South Wales.

“We teach Indigenous People and non-Indigenous on our Country because we believe everyone who lives on our land needs to know our culture,” Uncle Micklo told Koori Radio’s Lola Forester.

“Once we start instilling that into the non-Indigenous People that live here then I think that they have more respect for the Indigenous Peoples of this land.”

Uncle Micklo has been teaching Gumbaynggirr Language since 1997 as a way to help revitalise his People’s Culture.

Knowledge of Gumbayngirr Language was almost lost until the 1980s when a group of Elders began trying to teach people what they knew.

Since then, Uncle Micklo says he’s taught children who are now themselves teachers of Gumbayngirr Language.

“Hopefully one day we’ll have our Indigenous children and our non-Indigenous children walking out of our schools or walking out of their house speaking an Indigenous Language,” he said.

For more information on Gumbaynggirr Language, check out the Muurrbay Aboriginal Language and Culture Co-operative website.

Tune into Blackchat on Koori Radio 93.7 FM or on the Koori Radio app every weekday morning from 0900am – 1200pm AEDT.

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