July 2, 2019

In June 2019 the Mobile Language Team travelled to Birdsville to attend the launch of the Karrawaṟa (eagle) sculpture installation in the remote Queensland town of Birdsville. The sculpture is the brainchild of Wangkangurru/Yarluyandi siblings Aulpunda Jean Crombie and Anpanuwa Joyce Crombie, with the support of  brother Jim Crombie. The karrawaṟa eagle represents the minpaṟu (clever man/healer) named Marna-Thangki who watches over the Wangkangurru/Yarluyandi people and their lands, which includes Birdsville and the Simpson Desert. The project was headed by MLT’s partner in the region, Red Ridge (Interior Queensland). 

The Mobile Language Team, who have worked closely with the Crombie siblings on their language since 2017, were able to support them to produce a plaque in Wangkangurru language for the sculpture which explains the significance of the work. The karrawaṟa sculpture is a fantastic landmark which will teach locals and travellers about the Wangkangurru people, culture and language. Well done to all involved. 

Whilst in town, the Mobile Language Team also helped Jean, Joyce and Jim to develop and record a bilingual children’s book which will be published in the coming months through Red Ridge. Stay tuned!