The building name

Gathang is the language that binds Aboriginal people across our local government area, the traditional owners and ongoing custodians of the land – the Birrbay (Biripi), Warrimay (Worimi) and Guringay.

Yalawanyi means “a place to sit” and Ganya means “hut, shelter or place” in Gathang. Yalawanyi Ganya, “a sitting place”, is representative of the activities that occur here and the opportunities the building offers our community to connect, interact and participate.

MidCoast Council worked with the Gathang language holders on the naming of the building to show our respect for our local Aboriginal community and make a tangible, visible commitment to reconciliation.

The name Yalawanyi Ganya also honours the fact this building has been constructed on Birrbay Barray (Biripi land). We recognise that language is an important part of the reconciliation journey for our community, and are proud to support the re-emergence of Gathang. Yalawanyi Ganya is part of our commitment in supporting the local reconciliation journey. “We all belong to the land, the land represents us and we protect her from harm. Our identity, tongue and culture comes from her. She is our true mother. Walk with pride on Birrbay Country today and for many days to come.

Yanyil Barragay Barray Ngaya (Walk with me on Mother Country)” Jay Davis – Gathang language holder