Kaurna Warra Pintyanthi
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Kaurna Warra Karrpanthi Aboriginal Corporation (KWK)

ORIC - Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations

― Supporting the Kaurna Language of the Adelaide Plains ―

In October 2013, the Commonwealth Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations (ORIC) approved the establishment of KWK as a legal arm of the Kaurna Language movement under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (CATSI Act).

KWK was registered as ICN 7967 on 24.10.2013.

Officers and directors:

  • Chair: Rod O’Brien
  • Vice-Chair:
  • Secretary: Jack Kanya Buckskin
  • Directors: Stephen Gadlarbarti Goldsmith, Dr Lewis Yerloburka O’Brien, Dr Alitya Wallara Rigney


    First Point of Contact for Inquiries:

    Jack Kanya Buckskin
    Tauondi Aboriginal Community College
    1 Lipson Street PORT ADELAIDE SA 5015
    Phone: 08 8240 0300
    Email: <jbuckskin@tauondi.sa.edu.au>

    Official Address:

    Kaurna Warra Karrpanthi Aboriginal Corporation
    c/o Dr Rob Amery
    (Discipline of Linguistics)
    Convener, Kaurna Warra Pintyanthi (KWP),
    School of Humanities
    The University of Adelaide, AUSTRALIA 5005
    Phone: +61 8 8313 3924, Fax   : +61 8 8313 4341
    E-mail: <rob.amery@adelaide.edu.au>

    Bank Account:

    Kaurna Warra Karrpanthi Aboriginal Corporation (KWK)
    Westpac: BSB 035002, Account No 329491
    SWIFT Code:



    The Preamble of the KWK Rulebook states:

    "The people of the Kaurna Nation are the mathanya (owner/custodians) and culture bearers of the lands of what is now called the Adelaide Plains.  At the time of the establishment of the British colony of South Australia in 1836, their ancestors had lived on and from this land and its coastline for innumerable generations.  Their land and waters reaches from the southern tip of Cape Jervis to near Crystal Brook at the northern end of Gulf St Vincent and West of the Mount Lofty Ranges to the coast and adjacent waters of the Gulf St Vincent.

    By the mid-1800s, the Kaurna people were driven out of their land and settled in “Mission” stations at Poonindie (Eyre Peninsula), Burgiyana/Point Pearce (York Peninsula) and Raukkan/Point Mcleay (Lake Alexandrina), where they were forbidden to speak and transmit their own languages.  Most likely, the Kaurna language was last spoken in a day-to-day context in the 1860s and was considered extinct even as early as 1850.

    Miyurna means ‘people’ in the language of the Adelaide Plains.  It was given as the name of Mullawirraburka [Revised Spelling:  Murlawirrapurka]’s tribe. Murlawirrapurka (known to the colonists as ‘King John’ or ‘Onkaparinga Jack’) was an important Kaurna elder at the time of invasion in the 1830s and one of the main informants of the missionaries Teichelmann and Schürmann.  For much of the 20th century, the Miyurna people were known as “Kaurna”, which means ‘people’ in the neighbouring language Ngarrindjeri.  However, “Kaurna” is the name we have chosen to be identified by.

    Since the early 1990s, Kaurna people and Language specialists have been working at reclaiming the Kaurna language based on historical records from the early colonial period of South Australia.  This work is based on the systematic learning, recording and teaching of the Kaurna language by the three German Lutheran missionaries Clamor Schürmann (1815-1893), Gottlob Teichelmann (1807-1888) and Samuel Klose (1802-1889) in South Australia between 1838 and 1858, besides other occasional language observers.  In 2002, Kaurna Elders and youth, teachers and language specialists established “Kaurna Warra Pintyanthi” (KWP) as the Kaurna peak body to oversee and direct the revival and reclamation of their language based on historical records.

    Our language is being taught again at all levels of education and to Kaurna and non-Kaurna people.  In 2012, the first accredited training for future Kaurna community teachers commenced.  In the foreseeable future, Kaurna language reclamation, revival and teaching will be directed by the Kaurna community itself.  This will help to improve spiritual health, self esteem, culture and identity, and a sense of belonging for the members of our Nation.

    The establishment of Kaurna Warra Karrpanthi (KWK, Supporting Kaurna Language) as an independent, not-for-profit organisation registered with the Government of Australia under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (CATSI Act) shall provide support and guidance for the actual Language reclamation program of Kaurna Warra Pintyanthi."


    The Objectives are (Rulebook §§ 2 & 3):

    KWK aims to:

    1. Support the reclamation and promotion of the Language of the Kaurna Nation within and outside of the Kaurna Nation community.
    2. Support the accredited and non-accredited training of Kaurna Aboriginal language teachers forprofessional services to the Kaurna community and the wider education sector in South Australia.
    3. Support Kaurna Language revival activities, including research, development and teaching of the language.
    4. Support Kaurna language research.
    5. Support the production of Kaurna language resources, materials and teaching aides.
    6. Support Kaurna language promotion and awareness-raising, including specific website projects.
    7. Lobby for the official recognition of the Kaurna Language in Kaurna Country.
    8. Support the international recognition of the Kaurna Language Reclamation program as an endangered language.
    9. Apply for, receive and manage third-party funding, donations and other financial assistance insupport and on behalf of the Kaurna Language program.
    10. Support KWP collaboration with partners within and outside of the Kaurna Nation community.
    11. Safeguarding the knowledge of, and the research into, the Kaurna Language by establishing apermanent archive.  

    Additional Objectives:

    1. Promote and advance health and wellbeing by means of the redevelopment of the Kaurna Language for the Kaurna Nation community.
    2. Provide social and cultural benefits to the Kaurna Nation.  
    3. Maintain, protect, promote and support the culture, spiritual beliefs, Kaurna Traditions and Laws,social progress, development and other interests of the Kaurna Nation.
    4. Enter into legally binding agreements or joint ventures with any other person, persons ororganisations for the benefit of the Kaurna Language Movement.  
    5. Establish and maintain a community fund (trust) for the benefit of the Kaurna Language Reclamation Movement.
    6. Support and provide education, training, employment and cultural opportunities for the Kaurna Nation.  


    (updated 15 February 2015)