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Bayala Language Classes
Photograph: Jamie WilliamsTeacher Joel Davison at a Bayala Language Class, Sydney Festival

Time Out says

Book in early for these overwhelmingly popular Darug language classes with Aunty Jacinta Tobin and Gadigal man Joel Davison

Bayala translates to ‘speak’ in Darug – one of the first languages spoken in the Sydney area. Sydney Festival first introduced free Indigenous language classes as part of its program in 2017 to celebrate the Aboriginal heritage of our city, and this year they’re continuing that commitment with classes in Parramatta, Sydney CBD and Ultimo. 

Teachers Aunty Jacinta Tobin and Joel Davison share their knowledge of Darug through greetings, place names and words for body parts, with lots of opportunity to ask questions and learn about our shared history together. Time Out tried one of the free classes last year and the highlight of the hour is a song that you learn and perform together at the end of the lesson. Learning through music helps you to contextualise the words and connect with their meaning on a deeper level. 

This year, free language classes will be available at Prince Alfred Square, Parramatta and Sydney Observatory. Registration is required for these sessions. See the 'Dates & Times' tab for more information. 

If you want to take your language skills further, Sydney Festival is running three-day language courses at UTS and Parramatta Library. These classes are $45 and the experience will build on those language skills that you learned in the free workshop.

Get a head start. Time Out asked teacher Joel Davison to share ten Darug words and their meanings with us for the 'Deadly Sydney' issue in 2017. 

Emma Joyce
Written by
Emma Joyce


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