Laurie Baymarrwangga

Laurie Baymarrwangga (Gawany) Baymarrwaŋa (c. 1917 – 20 August 2014) was the senior Aboriginal traditional owner of the Malarra estate, which includes Galiwin'ku, Dalmana, Murruŋga, Brul-brul and the Ganatjirri Maramba salt water surrounding the islands and inclusive of some 300 other named sites.[1] She devoted her life to the intergenerational transmission of the ancestral language and knowledge of her homelands on the Crocodile Islands, for the benefit of future generations.[2]

Laurie Baymarrwangga (Baymarrwaŋa)
Bornc.1917
Murruŋga Island, Australia
Died20 August 2014
NationalityAustralian
OccupationAboriginal Australian elder
Known forIntergenerational transmission of cultural knowledge and heritage, preservation of biological heritage, preservation of traditional languages.

She is a great-great grandmother of the Malarra-Gunbiirrtji clan, and in 2012 was reportedly 95 years old.[3] She spoke the Yan-nhangu language, Djambarrpuyŋu, and several other regional languages of northeast Arnhem Land.[4]

She was named Senior Northern Territory Australian of the Year, and Senior Australian of the Year in 2012. Her encyclopaedic knowledge was the inspiration for an ethnographic publication[5] and a language documentation project.[6]


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