West Coast Steiner School
Elder Cliff Humphries Reconciliation Project – book launch
West Coast Steiner School students have recently undertaken a powerful reconciliation project with the family of the late Noongar Elder Cliff Humphries, one of the last fluent Noongar speakers in the world.
A senior Ballardong Elder who held within him a library of ancient Noongar knowledge, the Elder recorded hundreds of these Dreamtime stories and songs prior to his passing, and tasked his family with sharing these with the Noongar and wider community in an effort to preserve Noongar language and culture.
Surviving family members have now begun the publishing process, working with WCSS students to get the archival materials shared through the Elder Cliff Humphries Reconciliation Project.
West Coast students collaborated with the Elder’s family to illustrate the Elder’s collection of Noongar anatomical terms, believed to be the largest collection from a single source. This collection showcases the depth of Noongar scientific knowledge embedded in the ancient language.
Having won a Community Creativity Fund grant from the City of Stirling for the project, the school has been able to publish 1,000 copies of the book which were on sale at the launch, held on Thursday 9 March at the school campus. The book will also be available to borrow from all of City of Stirling libraries.
The launch included an authentic Noongar Welcome to Country in the ancient tradition and a talk about the Elder from his surviving daughters. The audience were taught an ancient middar by the Elder’s great grandson around the fire, and enjoyed a bush tucker tea and yarn with the family.
Congratulations West Coast Steiner School!