In Lismore, the heart of northern New South Wales, a story of cultural revival and educational excellence is unfolding at Goonellabah Public School. Adrian Harrington, an inspiring Aboriginal educator, is at the forefront of this movement, imparting Bundjalung language and culture to a new generation.
A Legacy of Language and Culture
Adrian Harrington, affectionately known as Uncle Ajay, has been the Aboriginal education officer at Goonellabah Public School for a decade. His journey into teaching was deeply influenced by his grandmother, Irene Harrington, who instilled in him the importance of preserving the Bundjalung language. Despite facing challenges, including threats of incarceration for speaking her native tongue, Irene's resilience and dedication to her culture have been a guiding light for Adrian.
Adrian with his grandmother, Irene Harrington. Courtesy, ABC News
Bridging Communities Through Language
At Goonellabah Public School, the Bundjalung language program is about building bridges between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities. The program, which includes all students regardless of their background, fosters a sense of belonging and understanding. It's a testament to the school's commitment to inclusivity and cultural pride.
Recognition of Excellence
Adrian's dedication to Aboriginal education recently earned him a prestigious accolade at the 18th annual Nanga Mai Awards. This recognition is not just for his individual efforts but also a celebration of the enduring strength and vibrancy of Aboriginal culture and language.
The Future of Indigenous Education
The success of the Bundjalung language program at Goonellabah Public School is a shining example of what can be achieved when cultural heritage is embraced and celebrated. It paves the way for a future where Indigenous languages and cultures are not just remembered but are a living, breathing part of our community fabric.
the story of Goonellabah Public School and Adrian Harrington is a powerful reminder of the importance of preserving Indigenous languages and cultures. It's a journey that BW Tribal proudly supports, echoing the same values of cultural pride and heritage preservation in every piece we create. In the spirit of cultural celebration and education, BW Tribal, a 100% Indigenous owned business, champions educators like Adrian Harrington.
Cover Image: The Lismore App