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Woolgoolga student breaks new ground in Aboriginal language

Isabella Lovelock of Woolgoolga High School has become one of the first three students in NSW to complete the new HSC Aboriginal Languages course.

Isabella formally received her results yesterday, including completing, in Gumbaynggirr, the 2-Unit Stage 6 Content Endorsed Course, Aboriginal Languages.

The course is assessed by the school and is not an ATAR course.

Principal Guy Wright says the completion of the course by Isabella and two students at Menindee Central is an important milestone for the school.

"Language is central to any people's way of life, so the establishment of an Aboriginal Languages course cannot be underestimated in its importance to the study of Aboriginal heritage and the maintenance of Aboriginal culture," said Guy.

"I am delighted that Woolgoolga High School has played such a signficant role in helping to have this course taught for the first time from the beginning of last year, and hope to see an increasing number of students opting to take the course in future."

Isabella says that as a proud young Aboriginal woman she chose to study Gumbaynggirr language as it makes her feel connected to her culture and heritage.

"I think it is really important for Aboriginal identity that we value all aspects of our culture and heritage. I feel the revitalisation of Aboriginal language is exciting and important for our people," said Isabella.

"I found both the content and delivery of the subject interesting and engaging, the inclusion of traditional methods of learning such as songs, stories and music helped me to gain a clearer understanding of the Gumbaynggirr language, people and culture.

"The strong and supportive influence of my school namely Mr Larry Hancock and Principal Guy Wright encouraged me to work hard and persistently.

"I hope in the future to continue my involvement with Gumbaynggirr language, either at Woolgoolga High School or within my community, because I believe preservation and continuation of the Gumbaynggirr language is a key element to Aboriginal identity."

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