Borobi Day 2020

The annual Borobi Day is happening on Friday 29th May!

Borobi in his new role as language ambassador encourages everybody to use Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages. In Yugambeh language it can be as easy as using 2 words ‘Jingeri Jimbelung’(hello friend/g’day mate). For greetings in other languages, visit the State Library Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages webpages.

The annual event is coordinated by the Yugambeh Museum, Language and Research Heritage Centre at Beenleigh. Borobi Day is a day to celebrate and raise awareness of the diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages. Did you know that in Queensland there are over 125 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages?!

Borobi Day also encourages schools and communities to explore more about their local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages. Yugambeh Museum has a range of online resources and activities for schools and communities to participate in the day.

This year, Borobi is super excited to bring language into the home with his free ‘Borobi in the window’ activities encouraging everybody to practice social distancing and learn language in your home. Download the colouring in sheets, match it with the language bubble, colour it in and place it in your window. There are 10 sheets to choose from. Colour in one or all of them!

The State Library of Queensland encourages schools and communities to join in Borobi Day and find out more about your local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander language!


Desmond Crump

Indigenous Languages Coordinator, State Library of Queensland

State Library of Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Languages Webpages

State Library of Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Languages Map


Spoken: Celebrating Queensland languages exhibition

Spoken Virtual Tour

Jarjum Stories exhibition

Minya Birran: What next for Indigenous Languages?


Additional information for this blog was drawn from the Yugambeh Museum, Language and Research Heritage Centre website.


Further Reading and References

The following is a selection of items from the State Library Collections relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages. 

Bowen, L. (2015) Gudaa bula dyugi-dyugi = The dog and the chookJUV 499.15 BOW

Breen, J. G. and Blake, B. (2007) The grammar of Yalarnnga: a language of western Queensland. Pacific Linguistics: Canberra. J 499.152 BRE

Crombie, J. and Barr-Crombie, J. (2014) Children's Talking Book  JUV 499.15 CRO  

Crombie, J. and Barr-Crombie, J. (2018) Looking for Tucker .  JUVQ 499.15 CRO 

Curr, E. M. (1887) The Australian Race: its origins, languages, customs, place of landing in Australia and the routes by which it spread itself over that continent. John Ferres Government Printer: Melbourne. RBF 572.994 cur

Dixon, R. M. W. (1972) The Dyirbal language of north Queensland. London: Cambridge University Press. G 499.15 1972

Edwards, R. (Ed) (2001) Dictionary of Torres Strait languages. Rams Skull Press: Sydney. Q 499.1503 RAY

Harriet Barlow Manuscript ca. 1865. OM91-69

Helon, G. (1994) The English-Goreng Goreng-English dictionary. Gurang Land Council: Bundaberg. G 499.15 1994

Hill, C. and Thompson, D. (2012) Lockhart River language readers Umpila and Kuuku Ya'u languages. HKT 418 HIL

Hobson, J., Lowe, K., Poetsch, S. and Walsh, M (Eds) (2010) Re-awakening languages: theory and practice in the revitalisation of Australia’s indigenous languages.  499.15 2010

Holmer, N. (1983) Linguistic Survey of South-Eastern Queensland. Australian National University: Canberra. J 499.15 HOL

Jarl, M. (2014) The legends of Moonie Jarl. Retold by Moonie Jarl (Wilf Reeves) ; illustrated by Wandi (Olga Miller). J 398.2 MOO  

Korkaktain, V. (2008) Minh Nga’an Wichan = Catching fish told & illustrated by Venita Korkaktain. JUV A823.4 KOR

Lawrie, M. (1970) Myths and legends of the Torres StraitQ 398.2099438 MYT

Lawrie, M. The Margaret Lawrie Collection of Torres Straits Materials. TR2082

Meston, A. (undated) Archibald Meston Papers Undated. OM64-17

Minjerribah Moorgumpin Elders-in-Council Aboriginal Corporation (2011) Jandai language dictionary: a dictionary of language spoken on Stradbroke and Moreton Islands based on words remembered by all Elders and recorded by interested visitors to our shoresHKT 499.153 JAN

Patz, E. (2002) A grammar of the Kuku Yalanji language of north Queensland. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics. J 499.15 PAT

Roth, W. E. (1898-1903) “Reports to the Commissioner of Police and others, on Queensland aboriginal peoples 1898-1903.” FILM 0714

Sharpe, M. (1998) Dictionary of Yugambeh, including neighbouring dialects, compiled by Margaret Sharpe from various sources. Pacific Linguistics C-139.  G 499.15 1998

Sutton, P. (ed) (1974) Languages of Cape York: papers presented to the Linguistic Symposium, Part B, held in conjunction with the Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies Biennial General Meeting, May,1974. Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies: Canberra. G 499.15 1976

Terrill, A. (2002) Dharumbal: the language of Rockhampton, Australia. Pacific Linguistics 525. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics. J 499.15 TER

Thancoupie (2007) Thanakupi’s guide to language and culture: a Thaynakwith dictionaryQ 305.899 THA

Walker, D. and Griffiths, L. (2011) Island treasures : Torres Strait children share stories. Collected by Dot Walker and Lynnette Griffiths for the State Library of Queensland. JUV A828.4 ISL

Watson, F. J. (1944) “Vocabularies of four representative tribes of South Eastern Queensland”; supplement to the Journal of the Royal Geographical Society of Australasia(Queensland), No. 34, Vol XLVIII. REFJ 499.15 wat


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