Lunchtime Talk: Michael Jarrett and Aaron Ellis

Michael Jarrett (Gumbaynggirr) and Aaron Ellis (Gamilaraay) discuss their role in barrangal dyara (skin and bones) and the revitalisation of Aboriginal languages.

Michael Jarrett
is a descendant of the Gumbaynggirr people, from the Baga-Baga clan of Nambucca Heads. Michael’s family Totem is the Yanggaay (shark). He is a Gumbaynggirr Language Teacher and has been teaching his language for more than twelve years, sharing his knowledge with all nationalities and ages from pre-schools, primary schools, and high schools to adults throughout the Gumbaynggirr Nation. Michael acquired his Teaching Degree from the University of New England, Armidale, and completed his Masters in Indigenous Languages Education at the University of Sydney. He has been employed by the NSW Department of Education and Training, Board of Studies and various languages organisations to demonstrate his language teaching skills. Michael strongly believes in keeping his language and culture alive and proudly teaches anyone who wants to learn.


Aaron Ellis is a Gamilaraay teacher from central New South Wales. Ellis studied a Masters of Indigenous Language Education at the University of Sydney and with the support of his Elders is highly active in language revitalisation and the implementation of Aboriginal Languages in schools amongst the community. He is currently employed in the role of Aboriginal Learning and Engagement Officer in Tamworth and teaches language across ages ranging from kindergarten children to Elders.