Australian Ngiyani – We are Australian.

A new Gamilaraay version of the chorus has just been uploaded, with the words, a translation and some comments. This site does not allow the upload of mp3s, so go to for the files. The document is repeated below.

Australian Ngiyani,  We are Australian

Gamilaraaydha, Yilaa Yinggilirra.   In Gamilaraay, then in English.

Sung by Loren Ryan, Recording and background: Ross McGregor; Producer: John Giacon; Recording funded by Winanga-Li Aboriginal Child and Family Centre, Gunnedah. An earlier version of this is on the Yugal CD/songbook, available from (search for ‘Gamilaraay’). You can purchase other Gamilaraay Yuwaalaraay resources there and a list of free materials is at the end of this document.



Giirr ngiyani maal,

Giirr ngiyani burrulaa,

Giirr dhurray, ganudhi dhawundi.

Giirr ngiyaniyuu bambanga bawili,

Ngaya, nginda, ngiyani Australian.


We are one,

But we are many

And from all lands on earth we come,

We share a dream and sing with one voice,

I am, you are, we are Australian.



As commonly the case a translation does not try to match the original word-for-word, particularly when it also has to fit a tune.

Giirr: The best analysis of this word is that I know what I am saying is true from my own experience – not because someone told me or I read about it.

Nginda: you, 1 person

Ngiyani: we, more than one person. Ngiyani includes the people being spoken to. Ngiyani-nya excludes the people being spoken to. This is called the exclusive form, and ngiyani the inclusive. Many if not most Aboriginal languages have an inclusive/exclusive distinction, as do many other languages, including Māori.


The gloss shows the words and parts of words and an indication of what they mean. The gloss is a guide. You cannot capture the full meaning of one Gamilaraay word or word bit with one English word.

Giirr ngiyani maal,
I.know we one

Giirr ngiyani burrulaa,
I.know we many

Giirr dhurray, ganu-dhi dhawun-di.
I.know come-past all-from land-from

Giirr ngiyani-yuu bamba-nga bawi-li,
I.know we-all loudly-now sing-will

Ngaya, nginda, ngiyani Australian.
I, you, we Australian.

For more about Gamilaraay and Yuwaalaraay go to, At you can download many GY resources (log in as guest).

Any comments and feedback welcome.

John Giacon,, 2017-04-03

One comment

  1. Why isn’t “Australia” translated? I know there is no traditional word for the whole Australia, but according to Wiktionary, “Yarraanbaa” has been adopted as the name for Australia.


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