Tears of joy filled the room recently after the Harvey Community Resource Centre secured more than $100,000 for its Noongar Waangkiny language and culture classes. The organisation was handed a $136,000 Lotterywest grant for its trailblazing courses, which aim to keep the Noongar language alive. The CRC initiated the course last year with funding from ConnectGroups. Its popularity and success has seen waiting lists and increased community interest in cultural connectivity. Partners of the course Bilya Moorditjabiny Training Services and Harvey Aboriginal Corporation facilitate the program, which includes fully fledged language classes as well as tool making, bush tucker and medicine workshops and a beginner’s introduction to Indigenous art. Students also partake in “yarning circles” once a fortnight, where they can casually apply their newly found skill in a practical way, as well as better understand Indigenous culture from local elders. Karen Jetta, a training consultant at BMTS said her grandson had learnt words and phrases after a few classes. Harvey CRC manager Tracey-Ann Davis said this was the first time they had opened the course up to the broader community and community members had shown huge interest in the course. “It’s been so popular we’ve been really well supported by the Shire, our new initiatives are part of the Shire’s strategic plan,” she said. Ms Davis stressed the importance of community groups sharing their culture with Harvey and said it was a privilege to be learning the traditional language of the Harvey area. “Language and culture go together, to understand the person, learn their language, it’s a beautiful language,” she said. Robyn Clarke said The Harvey CRC were ‘just rocking it’ and that they have set the bar on quality programs. “This is one of my favourite CRC’s, you guys are just rocking it,” she said.