Waikato Journal of Education


reawakening language
hegemony of English

How to Cite

Smith, H., & Pryor, L. (2022). Addressing the hegemony of English through picture books in Gamilaraay. Waikato Journal of Education, 27(1), 5–20. https://doi.org/10.15663/wje.v26i1.907


The reawakening of the Indigenous Gamilaraay language in northern inland New South Wales, Australia involves righting two centuries of prohibition and mistreatment after invasion by English-speaking settlers. Gamilaraay is no longer used as an everyday language in the community, although it has strong emblematic value for the Gamilaraay community. The hegemonic power of English means that it is seen as “normal”, while Gamilaraay use is often confined to ceremonial uses. A burgeoning awareness of the importance of Gamilaraay and other Indigenous languages of New South Wales has been reflected in recent legislative changes, which have in turn resulted in funding support for language materials. This article describes a community development approach in writing bilingual picturebooks in Gamilaraay and English as we progress towards our ultimate aim of normalising the use of Gamilaraay once more.


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