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Aboriginal Language

Isabella (nee Dawson) Taylor (1842 – 1929) grew up in the company of the Aboriginal people of Western Victoria. She was a life long student of their languages and customs. She penned the following remarkable letter to the editor of The Australasian newspaper on 9th March, 1870. She follows a passionate support of the Aboriginal people with a detailed listing of Aboriginal words and expressions with their English equivalents. It was a brave move, particularly for a woman, when support for Aboriginal people was far from popular. When she died in 1929,  Isabella was probably one of the last fluent speakers of  western Victorian Aboriginal languages  – click here to view a typed transcript of Isabella Park Dawson’s letter, 1870.

Dawson Scrapbook – Searchable PDF Volume 1/7 – Examples shown below – 

Click here to view Volume 1

*Search for ‘language’ and on Page 27 & 28 you can discover information about local Aboriginal Language that Isabella Dawson collected. Examples are pictured below. We are working towards expanding the resources available.

Isabella Dawson Aboriginal Language 03
Isabella Dawson Aboriginal Language 04
Isabella Dawson Aboriginal Language 05 search for Keerray Woorroong which is the closest language group to our district, hear names of places being spoken.