First Nation Naaguja language no longer ‘sleeping’ as song added to ABC Radio playlist

A song in the “sleeping” Naaguja language by Geraldton’s Theona Councillor has been added to ABC Radio’s national music play list and is being heard across the country.

Ms Councillor’s track Ngaalija Yangoogoo Yaanaa (Come Let’s Walk Together) was recorded as part of a project by WAM (West Australian Music) to promote local, regional music titled Sounds of the Mid West.

Ms Councillor said she had been asked to translate a Noongar welcome to country song into her language but decided instead to write her own.

“I thought, ‘I’m a singer-songwriter, so why don’t I have a go?’ and I did,” she said.

Call for unity

The song has a sentiment of Australia becoming a united country, tolerant of new cultures and celebrating the uniqueness of our ancient Indigenous cultures.

“I wanted the whole song in language just to let people hear the Naaguja language once again,” she said.

Ms Councillor sought the approval of elders before the song was released.

“We sat around and they had a little listen to my song and they give me the thumbs up, so I take that as ‘Go ahead’.

“I’m a Naaguja woman, so on my Grandfather Councillor we belong to the Bowes River and on my Grandmother Councillor we belong to the Chapman and the Greenough rivers.”

Read more: ABC NEWS

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