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Theona Councillor

“Wind” by Davina Ware is licensed under CC BY 2.0 


The first time I really saw you, I was standing on the shore . . . I felt you.

As the cold ocean breeze brushed my face, I thought that . . . I heard you.

Carried on the wind was a thousand voices of a thousand generations.

I took off my shoes, I let the red sand run through my toes . . .I know you.

As I recalled my father’s native tongue, I closed my eyes . . .I sang for you.

You joined me as a thousand voices of a thousand generations.

And then . . It was as if you spoke to my flesh somewhere in my chest

You felt me, you heard me, you know me, you heard my song and you said …

Home . . . with a thousand voices of a thousand generations


Translated into Yolŋu Matha

by Galathi Dhurrkay

Ŋurruŋumirr ŋarra nhäma nhuna, ŋarra ga dhärra raŋiŋur… ŋarra dhäkay ŋäma nhuna.

Ŋunhi ŋayi watay ŋulwitjthu beŋur ḏamurruŋ’ŋur gapuŋur djirripuŋal ŋarrany buku, ḻiya waṉḏinyaramam ŋarrany… ŋarra ŋäma nhuna.

Gurrukam ga watay dharrwa rirrakay, rirrakay waka ŋurrkanhawuy yolŋu walal.

Ŋarra yapmaram rraku ḻukupuy, ŋarra miku munatha waṉḏinyamaram ḻukupuykurr bininygurr… ŋarra marŋgi nhuŋu.

Ŋunhi ŋarra roŋiyirr birrka’yun ŋarraku bäpa’mirriŋuw dhäruk, ŋarra dhaḻ’yun rraku maŋutji… ŋarra miyaman manikay nhuŋu.

Nhe ŋarrakal dhä-manapan, dharrwa rirrakay waka ŋurrkanhawuy yolŋu walal.

Bala… nhe gärrin rrakal rumballila nhakun nhe waŋan ŋarrakal ŋayaŋuŋura djinagan.

Dhäkay ŋäma nhe ŋarrany, ŋäma nhe ŋarrany, marŋgi nhe ŋarraku, ŋäma nhe ŋarraku manikay bala nhe waŋan…

Wäŋa… dharrwa rirrakay waka ŋurrkanhawuy yolŋu walal.

About the Poet

Theona Councillor
“I am a Naaguja woman from the Midwest Region of WA, I live in Geraldon and study on-line at CDU. I am working towards a Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics, with focus on Indigenous Languages. Previous to this I have worked as a nurse, then as a finance officer, I have worked in the mines for about 9 years. And now I have chosen to change my life and study at Charles Darwin University, and work within the area of revitalisation of indigenous language in my region, hopefully. Through his whole time period from youth to now, the only constant has been music and writing. I am a singer/songwriter, and am currently working on a musical play, still a work in progress. Through my bloodlines I belong to the Murchison River down to the Greenough River and out to where the sun sets into the Weelongga (ocean)."

About the Translator

Jane Galathi is Yolŋu Wangurri women from Galiwin’ku community Elcho Island, currently living in Darwin, working and team teaching in the Yolngu Language and culture at Charles Darwin University.

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