First and foremost I want to make clear that i have never stated
that i am the only speaker, or that i have been raised speaking our
grandmothers tongue, in fact our family were displaced and separated
from our community in Katoomba.
Nevertheless my younger brother, elder cousins and many other
relatives heard the Dalang being spoken around Katoomba, Penrith, St
Marys and Parramatta when we were younger children, playing along the
banks of the river and running through the streets of the historic town.
We heard many words, yet not one of us might understand a sentence
beyond the first phrase. Notwithstanding many of us Wungarra and Gilygan
had listened when referred to as Boy's and Girl's.
At Parramatta Primary attending first and second class, we were
commonly referred to as WEBB whenever we had been noticed by the
numerous Darug people living about the area.
Our mother soon relocated to Tweed Heads, Queensland where my
brother and i attended Tweed Heads Primary for a short while, i recall
my mother and her extended family convincing me how it would be in our
best interest, not to mention that my father was Blackfella.
Garranarbillie gabara-wa: (Laughing my head off)
I can remember being enrolled and looking around at all the goori
faces about the school and within moments of hitting the play ground we
were running furiously about the school grounds chasing and tagging
each other, as yet we hadn't even exchanged names, though we knew in our
heart of minds that we were people of skin, the happiest term of my
My brother and i would spend our formal years at three different
schools, Surface Paradise Primary - Southport Primary - Labrador
As dispossesed, displaced and disenfranchised Goori kids, we were
father-less and trouble followed wherever we went, my brother and I
were considered unruly and our mother decided to take us to New Zealand
to give us a new start in life.
After attending school in New Zealand as a teenager my love for
language became apparent, after learning the Haka whilst at intermediate
school in Mt Eden. My family returned to Sydney when i turned 13.
Once we relocated to Bankstown i went in search of our biological father
at Parramatta and Katoomba only to discover he had moved interstate.
It would take eight long years before i met my father William Green and
thank Biiami for the timing, if i had never met my father i may never have known my true name and identity.
Living in central Queensland Walter William GREEN had been
adopted into many different Murray clans, he managed Euroka Arts in
Woodridge, receiving Queensland Honors towards the end of his life.
Losing my father affected myself amongst our family more than the other
children as i had very vivid memories of my Biyanga from the age of four
years old, i grieved to be reunited. Finally after tracking my father
down i discovered the written format of our language
'As a teenager during the 1970s i was sitting at the Bus stop at
Bankstown with numerous children from the neighbourhood, when we were
visited by an elder man of the Dharawal nation. After hearing our last
names were WEBB/GREEN the elder man became emotional and cried, causing
many of the young to feel a great empathy towards the old man and the
distress he was experiencing. He explained our entire family history,
people, places and names i had only ever heard of, to this day i have
adhered to the words of Uncle Guwan Jack and the story he told us never
to forget. ........ Let me tell you boys your grandfathers were men of
high degree and spoke all Dalang, when they were seated in
Wyaun-toongabbie the old people spoke Dharug, if they were living here
they spoke Dharawal, when the people were visiting the south coast they
would speak Yeun. .... I tell you boys all the mob were related
through the Bulada Ghan and the scales of the Carpet Snake. We are in
constant communication through the songs of the Garraway and Garmat the
white and black cockatoos. ..... At the end of his story one of the
local boys asked why he had been so emotional? Old Guwan Jack answered
'For today i stand in the presence of my elders and our grandmothers sons and i know one day our story will rise again'