Place of many waters
Kowanyama is a community located on the Cape York Peninsula in Far North Queensland, 600 kilometres northwest of Cairns. Kowanyama means ‘place of many waters’ in the local Yir Yoront language. Home to just over 900 people, the traditional people of Kowie are the Kokoberra, Yir Yoront (or Kokomnjen) and Kunjen mobs.
Building a trusted relationship with Kowanyama State School
Former Kowanyama State School Deputy Principal, Hayley Baxtad, was a teacher supervisor on our g-oz Travel Program in 2016 when she worked in Lockhart River. She pursued g-oz upon her move to Kowanyama in 2017. After much preparation we piloted a program in Term 1 and Term 2 of 2021. Due to the pandemic the Girls from Oz team was unable to visit again, until term 1 2022.
Helping Kowanyama to keep language alive
Recently Kowanyama State School incorporated a language revival program into the curriculum to re-introduce the traditional languages of Kowanyama. The Girls from Oz program has the potential to build and consolidate learning language through song by working collaboratively with the local language holders. This is an exciting time for the school, the community and many ageing Elders of the community.