In Yirrkala, an Aboriginal community just south of Nhulunbuy on the Eastern coast of East Arnhemland, Yolŋu translators met with delegates from the Australian Society for Indigenous Languages (AuSIL) and the Northern Synod of the Uniting Church, to discuss the ongoing Yolŋu translations of the Bible.
21 participants attended the three-day meeting held in late August. The event brought together representatives from six communities across Arnhemland including Milingimbi, Raminginin, Gawa, Galiwin’ku, Yirrkala and Gangan, as well as representatives from Jabiru in West Arnhem and also Darwin. Ten languages were represented in this momentous meeting of indigenous communities.
The purpose of the meeting was to listen to the Yolŋu translators and hear where the Holy Spirit was calling them to direct their translation efforts. Participants also designed a work plan for the next 12 months and commenced the strategic planning for the next five years. “This meeting enables us to gather together and draw strength from each other. We are dealing with committed lives not just books and words” said Yurranydjil Dhurrkayi, a participant from the East Arnhemland community.
The meeting was enormously successful, especially in enabling Yolŋu styles of work and decision making to be incorporated into the planning of future projects.
UC Invest were proud to donate $15,000 to the Northern Synod who allocated the funds to Coordinate, an agency of the UCA Northern Synod who support indigenous Scripture.
The donation was primarily used for transportation, to bring the 21 participants to the Yirrkala church. The grant will also help towards a translation conference to be held at Umawa in the APY lands of North Western South Australia, which is planned for October 2016.