Next time you visit a new mother in the maternity ward at Forbes or Parkes hospitals, follow the signs to Yinaagalang Nguranggu – Wiradjuri for woman’s place. If you need pathology, look for Guwany Barramali – to take blood.
A project to integrate Wiradjuri language signage and translations into the new Forbes and Parkes Hospitals has won a top award in the Western NSW Local Health District. A record number of 50 projects were entered for the Chief Executive’s Award at the Western NSW Local Health District’s annual Living Well Together Health and Innovation Awards. Lachlan Health Service’s Mali Marambir Ngurang: to make better place Lachlan was named the winner.
The project also received a Highly Commended in the category Closing the Gap in Aboriginal Health Disadvantage. The project provided for key directional signage around the hospitals to be written in English beside the Wiradjuri interpretation, which is then translated back into English.
Local Wiradjuri Elders worked closely with Dr Stan Grant, co-author of the Wiradjuri dictionary, to ensure the words were correct and close to their English meaning. The project aimed to make the hospital spaces more inviting and less daunting for Aboriginal people. More than 20 key places in the hospitals have bilingual interpretation. The English translations also helps to educate non-Wiradjuri people about the Wiradjuri language. For example, the Wiradjuri words Marrin Mumali (to rub the body between the hands) points to the physiotherapy department and Mungarr Ngadhurinya (care for kidneys) points to the renal department.
Ngaagigu Mulunma, (to see inside) is used for medical imaging and Ngurang Mindyali (to be fixed fast) are the words for operating theatre. Waluwin Ngaan (healthy mouth) points the way to oral health and Wambuwanbunmaldhaany (medicine maker) points to the pharmacist. The NSW Government provided $113.7 million to redevelop the Forbes Hospital and build a new Parkes Hospital.