“Singing Kabi Kabi” project brings Aboriginal language into local classrooms | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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“Singing Kabi Kabi” project brings Aboriginal language into local classrooms

Primary school children can now learn to sing in Kabi Kabi language, thanks to a new teaching resource developed by the University of the Sunshine Coast and Kabi Kabi Elders.

Gimi Gu’la (Little Koala) is a song written and recorded by local musician Uncle Lance O’Chin which tells the story of a child looking for koalas in the bush and incorporates both Kabi Kabi and English language.

The song is part of an online music and video resource called “Singing Kabi Kabi” which aims to help teachers bring local Indigenous language into the classroom in an engaging and respectful manner, said project coordinator Dr Rachael Dwyer.

“Lots of teachers struggle to move forward with embedding Aboriginal perspectives in their classrooms. They want to do it well, but they’re worried about being disrespectful,” Dr Dwyer said.

“Singing Kabi Kabi is focused on providing information so that teachers can use the resources with confidence, and help students understand the meaning of the story and its connection to language and Country.”

Kabi Kabi educator and artist Dr Hope O’Chin believes the positive impacts from expanding knowledge of the local language will be far-reaching.

“It’s a privilege for our songs and language to be shared with everyone who resides on Kabi Kabi Country and further. Not only will our own students and children be able to perform in their own language…it shares that knowledge with the wider community as well,” Dr O’Chin said.

The Singing Kabi Kabi project is a collaboration between University of Sunshine Coast’s Indigenous and Transcultural Research Centre and Kabi Kabi Elders.

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