Next time you visit a new mother in the maternity ward at Parkes or Forbes Hospitals, follow the signs to Yinaagalang Nguranggu – Wiradjuri for ‘woman’s place’. If you need pathology, look for Guwany Barramali (to take blood). The new signage is part of a project to integrate Wiradjuri language signage and translations into the new Forbes and Parkes Hospitals, which has recently won one of the Western NSW Local Health
District’s top awards.
Lachlan Health Service’s Mali Marambir Ngurang: to make better place; has won the Chief Executive’s Award at the Western NSW Local Health District’s annual Living Well Together Health and Innovation Awards. More than 50 projects were received for the Awards, which is a record number of entries. Key directional signage around the hospitals is 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.
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 while Mungarr Ngadhurinya (care for kidneys) points to the renal department. More than 20 key places in the hospitals have bilingual interpretation. Others include Ngaagigu Mulunma, (to see inside) which is used alongside signage for ‘medical imaging’; 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 wayfinding signage has been informed by The Lachlan Health Service Culture and Arts Working Group.
The Lachlan Health Services Project team engaged regional arts development organisation Arts OutWest to integrate culture and arts into the Forbes and Parkes Hospital redevelopments. The Culture and Arts Working Group includes representation from the Lachlan Health Service Project team, Arts OutWest, the Lachlan Health Council, health staff and the Aboriginal community and is responsible for implementing a flexible and sustainable program that promotes well-being and creates a welcoming, vibrant place for the Forbes and Parkes communities. For more information about the Lachlan Health Service Culture and Arts program, please contact Arts OutWest.