Gomeroi language reference group: Groundbreaking Indigenous language teaching project set to hit schools this year

CRUCIAL VOICE: Cathy Waters-Trindall said Gomeroi language restoration through formal education is a crucial part of reclaiming cultural identity. Photo: file

CRUCIAL VOICE: Cathy Waters-Trindall said Gomeroi language restoration through formal education is a crucial part of reclaiming cultural identity. Photo: file

Tamworth's epic Gomeroi language restoration project could be rolled out into its first school this year.

It's barely six months after the first meeting for the groundbreaking cultural restoration campaign.

But Gomeroi Language Reference Group member Rob Waters said the effort to eventually teach Tamworth's local Indigenous language in every school in the city is already making extraordinary progress, with the group set to hire a project officer in the next weeks.

The reference group plans to help develop the formal educational resources, like lesson plans, exams, textbooks and qualified teachers, required to get Gomeroi language into every Tamworth school.

Mr Waters said local schools have proved to be extremely supportive of the concept.

"They are screaming out for it. There's a lot of interest," he said.

President of the Aboriginal Education Consultative Group Cathy Waters-Trindall, who lives in Tamworth, said it was an exciting project.

"There are so many language stories out there that are empowering. Whilst we were invaded at the cost of the decimation of our languages, and our cultures and histories, our language has always remained," she said.

"It's in the trees, it's in the wind, it's in the birds, it's in every crevice of this land we know as Australia."

School language lessons will be accompanied by efforts to teach in the community, with youngsters teaching their parents to speak their language. Many of them were denied the chance to learn their language as children.