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We think of the many whom Jesus wanted to meet, above all people marked by illness and disability, to heal them and to restore their full dignity to them,” he said. “It is very important that we become witnesses of a new approach, that we could call a ‘culture of encounter.

Pope Francis 1 Holy Land, 2014, From 'A culture of encounter rather than a culture of exclusion'

Welcome to Country


Only Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people can say ‘Welcome to Country’. Non Aboriginal people need to say an Acknowledgement of Traditional Owners.

Brothers and sisters

As we gather here today, we ask that the Land and the Great Ancestral Spirits welcome each of you to the scared land of the ………… people (nation).

May the Great Ancestral Spirits of the Land, the waters and the rivers protect and guide us as we gather for this sacred/special ceremony ………… (name the occasion e.g. funeral, baptism).

On behalf of my family and our relations I especially welcome you here today.


North of the Clarence River to the Tweed, and west to Tabulam is predominately Bundjalung communities. This area also includes the people of Arakwal and Yagel.

Currently being prepared. We apologise for any inconvenience.


The original Yaegl people lived around the mouth of the Clarence River and spoke a language, Yaygirr that was similar to Gumbaynggirr.

Speech or Song of Welcome to Yaygirr Country

Darhuyay yarraanay
well             come

Ngaya Birriin-bari [Mun.gal-barri Dyaliidyarr-barri Yunggaya-barri]
I’m a Maclean-ite    [Yamba-ite Iluka-n Ulmarra-n]

Adyi Yaygirr Wadyarr
This is Yaygirr      country

Nyun.gay darhuya!
You-all         do well!

[Wadyiiway] [Thank you (‘Finishes’)]


This language is spoken by Aboriginal communities from Mt Yarrahappini (near Macksville) up to the Clarence River.

Guuyu, Jurruy,           Gagu,   Jinda biin!
elders   elder-women  brothers, sisters all!

Ngiyaa yilaa  giili    gawbarring; 
We all  here    today have gathered;

yilaana   ngiimbay yaam wajaarr, Gabaa,                      gilagung,               baluuny
and now we ask      this     land,   our All-father-spirit, our ancestral men and women:

Baya gunganbumba ngujalinya  yaam jagunda           Gumbaynggirrgundiya.  
May they welcome    you all into   this     homeland of the Gumbaynggirr people.

Baya Gabaawu,          gumbudu wajaarrgundi, ngaarlugundi, bindarraygundi
Let    the All-father, the spirits      of the land,        of the waters,    of the rivers

waruuguma, ngalanamba  ngiyaanya gawbarrigam yilaa gurrijigamba.
protect and    guide               us              gathered           here   at the ceremony

Ngaya,    nganyundi  barrmarrany ngalan   garla    junaala        ngujalinya:    
I    (and) my              family          together  really  want to tell  you all

Darruyay yilaaming! 


This is one of the languages spoken in the Kempsey and surrounding communities.

Option 1

Dhanggati guthun dhitiyn barri.
This is Dhanggati country.

Dhanang, marrungga dhitiyndha barriya!
You all, be well in this place!

Yalaanggurr naya, banduung naya! Dhitiyn nyinanhambu barri.
Look at the ocean, look at the mountains! this is our country.

Banduunggakayi yalaanggurrgu, dhitiyn nyinanhambu barri.
From the mountains to the sea, this is our country.

Option 2

Dhanang Dhanggati guthun barrigu waykarr, barayn.
Ngaya mapu marrunggan, dhanang wayikatikayi dhanggutu barrigu.
Dhanang marrungga dhitiyndha barriya!

You have all come to Dhanggati country today.
I am happy, because you have all come to my country.
You all be well in this place!

Permission for use granted by Dhanggati Language Group.


Gathang is a language that covers several Tribal areas: Birrbay, Gathang, Guringay and Warrimay, from around Port Macquarie to Broken Bay.

Minyang nyura wubaliyn?
Nyura yiigu marala barraygu, nyaagi, ngarragi.
Yii barraba barray.
Yii Gathangguba barray.
Ngatha djuyaliyn Gathang.
Ngatha nyuranang djuyagi.
Gathay nyiirun, (nyaagi marrung barrang.)

What are you doing?
You.all have come here, to this country to see, to listen.
This is my country.
This is Kattang country.
I’m speaking in Kattang.
I want to speak with you.
Let us go together, (to see the new dawn.)

Minyang nyura wuba-li-yn?
what       you.all  do-ing-PRES

What are you doing? (A common way of greeting is to ask a question.)

Nyura   yii-gu    mara-la       barray-gu,    nyaa-gi, ngarra-gi.
you.all  here-to come-have  country-to see-for   listen-for

You.all have come here, to this country to see, to listen.

Yii barraba barray.
this my       country

This is my country.

Yii Gathang-guba barray.
this  Gathang-‘s    country

This is Gathang country.

Ngatha djuya-li-yn Gathang.
I             speak-ing-PRES   Gathang

I’m speaking in Gathang.

Ngatha nyuranang djuya-gi.
I             you.all         talk-PURP

(I want to speak with you.)

Gathay nyiirun, (nyaa-gi marrung barrang.)
go-will we.all     see-for good        dawn

Let us go together, (to see the new dawn.)

Used with permission from Dhanggati Language Group. ©  Gathang Language Group AL