Language Learning Resources

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If you want to learn an Aboriginal Language it’s best to find an existing resource for the language group and region you want to work with. It’s very important to do your own homework rather then just going to find a native speaker and hassling them.

Resources to get started;

For details about the official language centres around the country visit the Our Languages website.

There are also many other organisations out there doing work in different language regions. Some include NGOs like Aboriginal Resource and Development Services (ARDS)Summer Institute of Linguistics, the Australian Society for Indigenous Languages and also some universities like Charles Darwin University (

Ask around to find the best language resources for your area.


Yolŋu Matha – Languages for North-east Arnhem Land

If you want to learn Yolŋu Matha we would recommend that you start with;

(1) Gupapuyngu Alphabet & Pronunciation Kit   (Beluah Lowe)   

Category: Language – Home Use (Book & CD)
Language: Gupapuyngu and English
Compiled by eminent linguist Beluah Lowe, these lessons should be used as the starting point for anyone learning the Gupapuyŋu language. Students are taken through the Yolŋu alphabet and learn the sounds of the language. This course is not the most recent, but it still is the best to learn, hear and speak Yolŋu Matha.

Price AU$: 36.00

After you have completed the above lessons, we then suggest;

 (2) Learning an Aboriginal Language Kit (Don Williams)                       

Category: Language – Home Use (Book and CD)
Language: Gupapuyngu and English
This book and CD of lessons by Don Williams gives an introduction to Indigenous cultures and introduces words and vocabulary in the Gupapuyŋu language. Targeted at secondary students, it is a clear and concise overview suitable for beginners. By time you finish this you will be speaking Yolŋu Matha and can then self learn.

Price AU$: 56.00

Both the above resources are available online at

NOTE: This site is not so user-friendly. It’s best to select the category drop-down box and click on the language resources.

(3) Charles Darwin University  

The uni has a language course but we suggest you will find it much easier to handle after you have completed the lessons listed above.


General Information

The site below has a wealth of resources in both English and  Yolŋu Matha on a wide variety of topics.

Including cross-cultural education in the sectors of health, law and economic literacy.

In particular their range of information and videos on health and disease is extensive. Many vital resources are available for Indigenous health workers, interpreters and health professionals working with patients whose first language is not English.

Aboriginal Resource and Development Services (ARDS)

Happy reading and learning!

Richard Trudgen


About Richard Trudgen

Richard was born in Orange NSW and trained as a fitter and turner. He moved to Arnhem Land in the NT in 1973 and became a community worker, learning to speak Djambarrpuyŋu. Has now worked with Yolŋu people for over 45 years. He was the CEO of Aboriginal Resource and Development Services (ARDS) for 10 years during which time he developed discovery education methodology with Rev Dr Djiniyini Gondarra OAM and also established Yolŋu Radio in 2003. He is the author of Why Warriors Lie Down and Die and facilitated ‘Bridging the Gap’ seminars, and delivered corporate training across Australia. He is currently the CEO of Why Warriors Pty Ltd, a community development social enterprise organisation working with Yolngu people. He spends his day writing, producing podcasts and building online learning platforms, producing videos and working face to face with Yolngu. He is also involved in building online cross-cultural training material to build understanding between Indigenous peoples and the Dominant Culture.

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