The Elders call this language South Coast Language in acknowledgement of the people’s cultural connection that reaches from the Victorian border to La Perouse. The Eden Koori Elders believe that preserving the knowledge held by Koori people respects their ownership of language and culture over academic studies of records made by nineteenth-century collectors. Koori Elders typically have had very little formal schooling; they learned from their Elders and from life itself.

The Eden Preschool worked with the Eden Koori Elders in the creation of the book Booris of Eden. This has now been remade as a short video featuring Eden Koori Elder Ossie Cruse telling the story and introducing the language.

Booris of Eden

The Elders have been working to preserve South Coast culture and language for many years now. They travelled from Eden to Nowra to record many South Coast Elders speaking the local language. The words used in this book come from this collection which is held in the archives of the Aboriginal Culture Centre Monaroo Bobberrer Gudu at Jigamy Farm.

So it’s with two main aims in mind that the Eden Koori Elders agreed to work on this book. The first is to assist with the survival of language and culture of the South Coast by placing the book and sound recording in South Coast preschools. The second is to a help develop an engagement and love of learning by encouraging the booris to feel at home in a school environment.

Contributed by Sue Norman published in 2015.