Language

Reconciliation Week 2010

Reconciliation Week 2010

The languages of the Gippsland area and across Victoria, are difficult to determine using historical reconstruction. Government policies saw Aboriginal people restricted to specific reserves or missions, and, eventually, an enormous number of Aboriginal people from various groups across Victoria were sent to Lake Tyers, where languages mixed, changed, and eventually ceased to be used.

In Gippsland, the GunaiKurnai language is traditionally known as 'Muk Tung'.  GunaiKurnai Linguist Wayne Thorpe write that "The early recordists tried to understand the 'g/k' sound; the traditional sound is somewhere between the 'g' and 'k' sounds, however they are sounded together.  Early recorders of the GunaiKurnai language chose either a 'g' or 'k' when recording the spoken word, leading to many variations in spelling. (Adapted from "The Great Debate" Wayne Thorpe April 2010).

After considerable consultation with the Koorie language unit at GippsTAFE and Koorie Community members including Elders, LCHS has accepted Koorie with an 'e' as the correct spelling for Koorie people in Victoria.