Djiringanj Connections

On Djiringanj Country, UOW Bega Valley has a proud connection with local Community

Sharing culture at Graduation

The 2023 UOW Bega Valley Graduation was opened with an Indigenous ceremony led by Djiringanj women and children. The Djidjarns, local Djiringanj choir, sang in Djiringanj language to celebrate the student’s educational journey and success.  Djiringanj Elders Glenda Dixon and Ellen Mundy said the Indigenous Ceremony had been the first of its kind at a University Graduation Ceremony in Bega. The Djiringanj Elders and women worked with UOW Bega's Indigenous Student Success Advisor, Emma Stewart, to collect ochre and create cultural necklaces and earrings on country at Mogareeka. These were presented by the Elders to the three Indigenous graduates after the formal proceedings in the Bunaan ring located within Littleton Gardens, Bega. 

“Recognition of the Djiringanj people, community and culture is important. We want to encourage Aboriginal students and community to feel safe and comfortable to study at UOW. We want a good relationship between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people. Working with UOW Bega is creating meaningful reconciliation and positive change for our community” – Aunty Ellen Mundy, Local Djiringanj Elder.

Three graduates with Indigenous Elders from Bega Community
UOW Bega 2022 Indigenous Nursing graduates Charlotte Smith-Bull, Briony Ferris & Kayla Crofts with Aunty Glennda Dixon, Aunty Ellen Mundy & Bronwyn Luff

The story of Bega

In 2022 a collaborative community project began with local Djiringanj Elders, Aboriginal community members and UOW Bega staff, envisioning to create a cultural safe space at the entrance of the campus.

After consulting, listening and learning from Local Elder Aunty Ellen Mundy, and Djiringanj artist Bronwyn Luff, "My Dreaming Track of Knowledge with Community and Elders" was created, an artwork depicting the story and cultural significance of the Bega Valley. 

Aunty Ellen Mundy has shared 11 words in local Djiringanj language, which have been shared within a teaching resource and website for local community to learn more about Djiringanj culture and the significance of Bega. These words, their pronunciation and the cultural significance depicted within the artwork is shared below.

Aboriginal Artwork depicting the cultural significance of Bega Valley
"My Dreaming Track of Knowledge with Community and Elders" by Bronwyn Luff

My Dreaming Track of Knowledge with Community and Elders

Artist: Bronwyn Luff, Djiringanj and Ngarigo descendant.
Elder and Knowledge Holder: Aunty Ellen Mundy Djiringanj and Ngarigo descendant.

The Sun
The wattle
Bega Valley
Bunan Rings
The bogong moth
The tree
The walking tracks

Djiringanj Language

Word Meaning
Bunja Remember
Bundjala Think
Burraaali Answer
Dhuri Grow
Gumung Talk
Mundar Strong
Bagam Sit
Badjga Get up
Coonjee Camp
Bindi Give
Burnung Tall

Smoking Ceremony at Bega campus

The community celebrates the exciting launch of a new project, Djiringanj Community Learning Resource and Artwork at UOW Bega

Smoking Ceremony conducted by Uncle David Dixon

Didgeridoo performance by Uncle Lou Campbell

The community celebrates the exciting launch of a new project at UOW Bega

Project: Djiringanj Community Learning Resource and Artwork

Created and organised by the following four women: Aunty Ellen Mundy, Bronwyn Luff, Emma Stewart and Sam Avitaia

Uncle David Dixon closes the launch with a smoking ceremony

Uncle David invites young leader Marcus Mundy to continue

Video provided by Bega District News

The artwork, stories and language depicted in this project remains the cultural and intellectual property of Aunty Ellen Mundy and Bronwyn Luff. Schools and community groups wishing to utilise these words and resources are warmly invited and encouraged to contact Bega Lands Council to organise knowledge sharing events with local elders.

Thank you to Aunty Ellen Mundy, Aunty Glennda Dixon, Bronwyn Luff, Erika Luff & Marcus Mundy, cultural knowledge holders and valued friends of UOW Bega Valley. Thank you to cultural connector Emma Stewart, UOW Bega Valley Indigenous Student Success Advisor.