Proposal: Nyungar spoken words on video

Body parts video created as part of the project

The following proposal is intended to be a Collaboration between Gnangarra representing Wikimedia Australia, and Curtin University Centre of Aboriginal Studies represented by Ingrid Cumming.


To record spoken Nyungar words as audio files then combine them with a photograph of the subject and then upload as a video file to Wikimedia Commons. All files will be licensed under a Creative Commons license specifically CC-by-2.5-au this is an acceptable license for media provided to Wikimedia Foundation projects, it's also the last CC Australian ported text license that didn't mandate not exercising moral rights as enshrined in the Australian Copyright Act.


WMF - Wikimedia Foundation Inc - WMAU - Wikimedia Australia Inc - a recognised WMF Afflilate and registered Australian Charity - Commons - WMF project which act as a media repository Wikipedia - the online Encyclopedia in 300 languages Noongarpedia - the on going project to a Nyungar language Wikipedia, started as part of a joint ARC grant between Curtin University and University of WA. Curtin University - specifically the Centre of Aboriginal Studies -


With the support of Curtin University we engage in a collaborative project to record current spoken Nyungar by engaging with Nyungar speaking students. Once recorded the audio files will then be merged with images of what is being said to create video files so that there is a very clear understanding of the subject.

This subject matter will be the very common objects and concepts including;

  • Language groups,
  • Seasons,
  • Colours,
  • Directions,
  • birds and animals,
  • weather and celestial activity,
  • Plants
  • Objects and tools
  • Body parts


Create word lists for the speakers to follow, the speakers would say the word in Nyungar followed by the word in English and then repeat the Nyungar word.

Example: Yoornt, Yellow, Yoornt --- this would be a yellow square Meeyal, Eye, Meeyal --- this would be accompanied by an eye

The students would work in teams of two, one speaking and one recording. They would work together for a maximum of 60 minutes before taking a break.

The creation of the video files suitable for uploading would be by Gideon of Photographs by Gnangarra.

Basic needs:

  • Word lists
  • Quiet space for recording
  • Microphones with socks
  • Recording equipment
  • Talent release,
  • Stipend for the talent


  • Working with 3 teams of students
  • 30 words per hour per team
  • 120 words per team total 360 words.
  • 360 words would create 360 files

360 video files upload to Commons for use on Wikipedia in all languages, within one month of completing the audio recordings. These files will also be available for use by other projects.

Curtin University - would have a collection of spoken Nyungar words to build upon. This collection could be the basis for Curtin and Bunbury Language Centre to produce LOTE materials for schools in Western Australia.

Additional opportunities for Curtin University to lead Wikipedia edit-a-thons to ensure that the files have a wide usage. This could be developed into a program similar to UWA Intangible Heritage course

Areas of caution:

We would keep to simple concepts and words based on those being taught through the WA Education department LOTE programs. This will mitigate issues with Nyungar lores and customs.

Linguistically we would be recording the current speakers and how they say the word. There could be dialect differences, these will be mitigated by using LOTE word lists. We would have the ability to record within the talent release additional ancestral information, the talent releases would be held by Curtin University according to Curtin privacy requirements. Ancestral information would not be part of the Wikimedia information beyond noting that the word is spoken by a Balladong Nyungar, Whadjuk Nyungar….etc

All speakers will be given the option to be acknowledged within the file descriptions uploaded to Commons. The publishing of the talent names on Commons is optional,


The expense incurred on behalf of Wikimedia Australia will paid through a proposal submitted by Gnangarra and reimburse by invoice:

  • Stipend for talent
  • Catering supplied during the activity
  • Hire of Recording equipment, not already available
  • Expenses incurred by Gnangarra

Curtin University expenses would be through the Centre for Aboriginal Studies And cover

  • Recording space
  • Printing of word lists or other support material
  • Recruitment of talent
  • Appropriate community review of proposal


Proposal funded by WMAu directly to Curtin University

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