Gathang language students graduate | Photos

The Taree based Certificate III in learning an endangered language (Gathang) saw ten students graduate from the course on Wednesday.

Arlene McInherny, Jaycent Davis, Jonathan Lilley, Lynette Walshe, Natalie Stanfield, Rhonda Radley, Roslyn Lowe, Sharon Edgar-Jones and Yeena Robins were on hand at Club Taree where they received certificates for their efforts.

Marianne McKinnon-Kidd also graduated but was absent from the ceremony.

The course has been run over the past 18 months and is derived from the Muurrbay Aboriginal Language and Culture Co-op in Nambucca Heads.

Students traveled to Taree from Port Macquarie, Wingham, Forster, Port Stephens, Stroud and Maitland to attend the course.

Linguist at the Language and Culture Co-op Julie Long said the uniqueness of the course has helped the students grow their learning.

"It's a very specialised course for languages which are in the early stages of revitalisation and to suit what the student cohort needed.

"They are the group that will guide the revitalisation and teaching of Gathang in this community in the future,” Julie said.

Yeena received an additional award for her contributions to the course and received sponsorship from the Department of Primary Industries Food Authority to attend the course.

She said the community will benefit from the new group of students who have the knowledge of the language.

"Being able to connect with our culture and everything has been a wonderful experience and having the opportunity to actually continue on and add to that knowledge base has been great.

"Once you get it done it's really easy and you do have to learn to simplify a lot of what you're translating as well because sometimes things are set in such a way they mean one thing but you have to translate it back to the very base form,” Yeena said.

Natalie and Jaycent were sponsored by Taree High School.