A new dictionary has been released on the South Coast's traditional Dhurga language.
The work of siblings Patricia Ellis, Kerry Boyenga and Waine Donovan has resulted in the Dhurga Dictionary and Learners Grammar, which was officially launched at Moruya last week by renowned author and historian Jackie French, AM.
The Dhurga language is one of the languages of the Yuin Nation, spoken on the South Coast and Southern Tablelands of NSW, from south of Nowra to Narooma and west to Braidwood and Araluen.
Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) CEO Craig Ritchie said the dictionary was a long-awaited resource for the Dhurga-speaking people of Yuin Country and will be a valuable book for any person wanting to learn the traditional language.
"The community have worked tirelessly over many years to develop the Dhurga Dictionary and we are proud at AIATSIS to be able to help it reach publication," Mr Ritchie said.
"The dictionary is a boost for the teaching and Dhurga language revitalisation work already happening with the community and schools on the South Coast of NSW.
"It will serve as an invaluable resource for many years to come."
Ms Ellis, Ms Boyenga and Mr Donovan have spent the past 20 years teaching Dhurga language in schools and have over 80 years of collective experience working in the education sector.
Thanks to the tireless efforts of the siblings, linguists and a dedicated community the revival of the Dhurga language has allowed for speakers young and old to embrace the traditional language previously considered endangered.
The new publication is the most concise compilation of the Dhurga language to date with over 730 words, as well as informant and recorder details to validate authenticity.
The dictionary is reportedly the first of its kind, designed to be user-friendly for all literacy levels and readers.
The Dhurga Dictionary and Learners Grammar was published through the Indigenous Languages Preservation: Dictionaries Project, run by AIATSIS and funded by the National Indigenous Australians Agency.
The dictionary can be ordered online through the publishing arm of AIATSIS, Aboriginal Studies Press.