30 Aboriginal apps you probably didn't know about

Browse Aboriginal mobile apps that help you experience culture, explore stories or learn an Aboriginal language.

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Aboriginal culture apps

Welcome to Country

The Welcome to Country app helps you understand the local history of Aboriginal people and the traditional custodians of the land you're currently on.

The aim of the app is to acknowledge the 500 nations that existed in Australia before settlement. It's a good app to help students and teachers tell you whose country they live or learn on.

Using GPS tracking you be welcomed to country with a video from a local elder, and often the video introduction includes a speech or dance.

Get it on iTunes

Melbourne Dreaming

'Melbourne Dreaming' is designed for self-guided tours of historical and contemporary places of Aboriginal significance throughout the city of Melbourne. You can spend from 30 minutes to a day exploring the city via GPS-enabled maps and contextual audio.

You can plan your trips to suit your available time, by locality or interest or find general information about facilities, opening hours, cost, public transport and links to useful websites.

Get it on iTunes or Android (Check also the companion book Melbourne Dreaming.)

Sharing the Dreaming

Sharing the Dreaming is a window into Aboriginal culture: the culture of the Nyoongar, the traditional custodians of Australia’s South-West. Listen to Dreamtime stories, illustrated by images of paintings in the local style. Hear and learn Nyoongar words and their English language translations.

Get it on iTunes

Soundtrails

Soundtrails helps you explore places of historical significance while you're physically walking them, but you can also explore them remotely. The app covers several that are of Aboriginal significance and related to the Freedom Rides, Aboriginal diggers and Myall Creek massacre.

Get it on iTunes or Android

Traditional Wiradjuri Culture

This app explores the culture and traditions of the Wiradjuri People. The app includes chapters on shelters, bush resources, tools, weapons and traditional art. Learn about Wiradjuri culture through detailed text, interactive activities, videos and beautiful images.

Get it on iTunes

Virtual Songlines – Meanjin

Brett Leavy is an immersive heritage specialist, virtual historian and artist. His passion to educate about Aboriginal history let him to recreate the real environment for mapping Aboriginal culture and heritage with Virtual Meanjin.

The game transports players 300 years into the past, to an Australia prior to invasion. It looks similar to World of Warcraft and is based on extensive research into what Brisbane and Sydney's landscapes looked like at the time. The game carefully considers everything from the topography and plants to the documented historical names and customs of the local indigenous population of the period.

Aboriginal media apps

Koori Radio

93.7FM Koori Radio 2LND is Sydney’s only Aboriginal full-time community radio station broadcasting a mix of local, international and assorted Aboriginal music from around the world and across Australia.

Get it in the AppStore or Android

Aboriginal story-telling apps

Gunditjmara Story Books

Set of six interactive digital story books featuring traditional stories from the Gunditjmara people, the Traditional Owners of south west Victoria, Australia.

These stories feature Gunditjmara languages: Dhauwurd Wurrung, Peek Wurrung and Keerray Woorroong

Illustrated by students at: Warrnambool Primary School, Warrnambool East Primary School, Merrivale Primary School and Heywood & District Secondary College

Get it in the AppStore

Healesville High School - Dreamtime Stories

Under the guidance of Aunty Joy Murphy, our Wurundjeri elder, students undertook an intensive 2 days of Dreamtime story telling, culminating in 4 Dreamtime stories told through striking artwork and narrated in the students' own voices. In the app you can swipe through and immerse yourself in these four beautifully told traditional stories, tap on the pictures to explore different elements and find out how to say them in Wurundjeri.

Get it in the AppStore

Ngarandi

The free Ngarandi app helps you unearth stories from the Aboriginal people who lived in the Sydney area. It uses geolocation and augmented reality to help you build a nawi (bark canoe) and learn how to fish like the Eora fisherwomen.

Get it in the AppStore

Ngurrara – Australian Aboriginal Storybook

Ngurrara follows the journeys of three young Australian Aboriginal Ngarluma men as they fish, hunt and carve their own stories. It is set on Murujuga (Burrup Peninsula) As the landscape, the people and culture change over millennia, one thing remains the same, the Ngarluma people 'were always here.'

Get it in the AppStore

Ringbalin – River Stories

In 2010 the Ringbalin, a group of Indigenous tribes reignited an ancient ceremony, a Ringbalin, travelling 2300km, dancing to save Australia’s Murray Darling Rivers from a crippling drought. By the time they had finished rain had started falling. What followed were the biggest floods in Australian records.

Get it in the AppStore

Warlu Song – Australian Aboriginal Storybook

A spirit man journeys with a terrifying serpent, ripping up trees with an angry wind, smashing the land with floods and changing the country forever. Continuing the Aboriginal oral tradition, this story was dreamt by a songsmith and is here sung in Yindjibarndi and spoken in English.

Get it in the AppStore

Yugambeh – Australian Aboriginal Storybook

Yugambeh Aboriginal language from the Gold Coast, Logan and Scenic Rim regions in Queensland, at your fingertips for educators, visitors and community. Includes audio, dictionary and pictionary files. Developed by the Yugambeh Museum to re-invigorate use of their traditional language.

Get it in the AppStore

Language apps

Barngarla Dictionary

Explore and learn the language and culture of the Barngarla people, search in Barngarla and English or images. The Barngarla dictionary is changing the way people learn language and connect with culture.

Get it in the AppStore or Android

FirstVoices Keyboards app

FirstVoices is an Aboriginal typing app with hundreds of Aboriginal languages available.

Prior to invasion there were about 250 different languages, only 145 of which are still spoken today. The app helps Aboriginal people regain the everyday use of their heritage languages by texting, typing, sending emails, creating documents and using social media in their traditional languages.

It includes languages from Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the US.

Get it in the AppStore or for Android

Kriol Dictionary

Kriol is spoken across the Kimberley region of Western Australia and in a belt across the Northern Territory centred around Katherine. It is Australia's largest Aboriginal language with some 30,000 speakers.

Android

Kulila!

‘Kulila!’ is a Pitjantjatjara word for ‘listen up!' The app helps you learn the Pitjantjatjara and Ngaanyatjarra languages.

Get it in the AppStore

Ma Gamilaraay

Gamilaraay and Yuwaalaraay are languages from inland eastern Australia, from northern New South Wales and the very south of Queensland.

Ma!Gamilaraay is a dictionary and phrasebook of these languages. Many of the words are spoken by Arthur Dodd and Ted Fields, Yuwaalaraay speakers who were recorded in the 1970s. They were the last people with extensive knowledge of either language. Other words and the phrases are spoken by contemporary learners of the languages.

Get it in the AppStore

Ma Iwaida

The Ma! Iwaidja app is an initiative of the Minjilang Endangered Languages Publication project. Anyone interacting with the language in any way, including Iwaidja speakers becomes an instant documentary linguist. Adding a new word with transcription is as simple as adding a new contact to your Contacts list.

Get it in the AppStore

Miriwoong

Miriwoong is the name of the Miriwoong people and their endangered language. The Miriwoong are the traditional owners of the lands around Kununurra in Western Australia and stretching about 100km into the Northern Territory.

This app includes a dictionary of 1,400 Miriwoong words and phrases including audio support, a learning area with games and an “Explore” section where users can discover the vocabulary by categories/topics. The “About” section features interesting background information and a link to the Mirima Dawang Woorlab-gerring Language and Culture Centre (MDWg), the creator of this language resource.

Get it in the AppStore

Mutti Mutti Dictionary

The Mutti Mutti app helps you learn this language from the Kulin nation of the Murray Lower Darling Rivers.

Get it in the AppStore

My Grandmother's Lingo (Marra)

My Grandmother’s Lingo is a website that uses voice-activated gaming technology to connect users with the story of Angelina Joshua, a passionate and determined young Aboriginal woman from East Arnhem Land’s remote Ngukurr community. Angelina is fighting to save her traditional language, Marra, after both her father and grandmother have passed away.

After each scene in the story, users can speak words in Angelina’s language into their microphone. This allows them to continue to the next scene and unlock key chapters in the story. The journey ends with a ‘heat map’ which allows users to pin their location, illustrating how many people across Australia and around the world have listened to Angelina’s story and been inspired to learn, or learn about, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages.

My Grandmother's Lingo (Get your headset on! Hosted on SBS)

Nari Nari Dictionary

This app helps you learn words of the Nari Nari language from the Riverina region of New South Wales.

Get it in the AppStore

NSW AECG Languages App

This language app allows users to explore four NSW languages: Bundjalung, Gamilaraay, Gumbaynggirr and Wiradjuri. Paakantji and Murrawarri languages are planned to be added later.

Get it in the AppStore or for Android

NT Languages – Anindilyakwa

A flash card language app developed by the Northern Territory Library comprising everyday words and phrases in Anindilyakwa and English. This app is a bilingual literacy tool for people in Anindilyakwa communities, as well as English-speaking workers and visitors to the Gulf of Carpentaria.

Get it in the AppStore

Wiradjuri Dictionary

Learn the language of the Wiradjuri people of central New South Wales.

Get it in the AppStore

Wonnarua Dictionary

The Wonnarua language belonged to Aboriginal people living along the inland area of the Upper Hunter Valley, New South Wales.

Get it in the AppStore

Yawuru Ngan-ga

Explore the language of the Yawuru people from Broome in Western Australia. Browse their dictionary, or just explore via categories. Find out some helpful common phrases for use around town or get stuck into learning the language via a series of word games.

The app caches the content locally, so you can use it offline. Every time the app launches it attempts to retrieve the latest updates from the team at Mabu Yawuru Ngan-ga.

Get it in the AppStore

Yitha Yitha Dictionary

The Yitha Yitha app helps you learn this language from the Kulin nation of the Murray Lower Darling Rivers.

Get it in the AppStore

Yugambeh App

Yugambeh Museum's language app. Built to re-invigorate the use of traditional languages by Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal community members and close the educational gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians.

Get it in the AppStore

Self-help apps

Deadly Tots

The Deadly Tots App contains information for every Aboriginal family to help their toddler learn and grow: You can add photos of your child and create a memory book, choose captions, add contacts for local services, and let the app send reminders on immunisations and blue book checks to you.

Get it in the AppStore or for Android

iBobbly

iBobbly is a social and emotional wellbeing self-help app for young Aboriginal people aged 15 years and over. The app is private and confidential and helps by showing you ways to manage your thoughts and feelings, as well as how to decide what is important in your life. iBobbly is shaped by Aboriginal community members to ensure that it is culturally informed and safe.

Get it in the AppStore or for Android

My Mob

MyMob encourages positive communication to help you build a stronger family. You can share private messages (via a virtual fridge), calendars and other information with your mob. The app offers message boards, a kids zone, family diary and resources for all kinds of situations. You can set up profiles for each member of your family and have more than one mob at a time – great for grandparents and blended families.

Get it in the AppStore or for Android

Museum and collection apps

Indigenous Australian: Art Gallery of New South Wales

Indigenous Australian: Art Gallery of NSW lets you explore a selection of artists and artworks from our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art collection. View high-quality images in extraordinary detail, discover stories of the artists and the art, get simple explanations of art terms, and go behind the scenes with interviews and videos.

Ranging from bark paintings to photography, sculpture to shell work, weavings to watercolour, the app includes work by significant artists such as Emily Kam Ngwarray.

Get it in the AppStore

AIATSIS Collections Search app

With this app, the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) helps you access its collections. You can search the catalogue, download items, manage your account, and find suggested reading.

Get it in the AppStore

Harvard citation

Korff, J 2020, 30 Aboriginal apps you probably didn't know about, <https://www.creativespirits.info/resources/apps>, retrieved 4 December 2020

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