S36: Woiwurrung

AIATSIS code: 
AIATSIS reference name: 


Thesaurus heading language
Thesaurus heading people
ABN name
ABS name
Horton name
Ethnologue name
ISO 639-3 code
Tindale name
Tindale (1974)
Wurunjeri, Wurunjerri, Urunjeri, Wurunjerri-baluk, Wurrundyirra-baluk, Wurrunjeri, Oorongie (where g is to be taken as dj), Woiworung (language name, a valid alternative; woi = worung = speech), Woiwurung, Woiwurong, Woi-wurrong, Woiwurru (['woi] = no, ['wur:u] = lip), Woewo-rung, Wooeewoorong, Warorong, Warerong, Wairwaioo, Wawoo-rong, Wawoorong, Warwaroo, Waarengbadawa, Wainworra, Wowerong, Wawurong, Wawurrong, Wavoo-rong, Gungung-willam, Ngarukwillam, Kukuruk (name of a northern horde), Mort Noular (language name), Coraloon (corrupt spelling?), Yarra Yarra (Europeanized false name of principal river, the Beireirung, based on misreading of a misinterpretation of an exclamation, 'jan:a, 'it flows'), Yarra Yarra Coolies (kulin = man), Yarra, N' uther Galla, Nuthergalla (['ngatha] = ['juõa] = no, Melbourne dialect).
O'Grady et al (1966)
Djadjuwuru, Wurunjeri, Wurrunjeri, Woiwurru, Woiworung, Woeworung, Woeewoorong, Wawurong, Wawoorong, Oorongir, Gunungwillam, Ngarukwillam, Kurunjang, Mortnoular, Woiwurung
Other sources
Woi wurrung, Jagger jagger tribe, Jagger Jagger tribe, Dutigalla, Dutagall, Jaga Jaga tribe, Jacky Jacky tribe,, Worworong, Port Phillip tribe, Jacka Jacka tribe, Wave ver rong, Waverong, Waverang, Waworong, Wavorong, Wavarong, Wavererong, Wavoorong, Wawarong, Waoorong, Wa-wo-rong or Port Phillip tribe, Wa-ver-ong, Melbourne dialect, Douta Galla, N'uther Galla, Wooworong, Warworong, Wowoorong, Wawoorong, Waworung, Woovoorong, Wayoerong, Woeworong, Wawaurrong or Yarra Yarra tribe, Waworong, Doutta Galla tribe, N'uther Galla tribe, Yarra Yarra tribe, Melbourne tribe, Bayry-Binip tribe, Yarra tribe, Wooeewoorong, Wawoorong, Wawurrong, Jigga Jigga tribe, Port Phillip blacks, Wa-woorong, Yarra Yarra tribe, Woiworung, Yarra River tribe, Woiwurru, Woeworung, Woeywurong, Woe-wurung, Woewurung, Woey-wurung, Woi wurung, Woi-wurru, Woi worung,, Wawroonong, Woeworun, Woiwoeung tribe, Kukeruk, Coraloon, Warweroo, Woiwuru, Warwaroo, Wairwaioo, Wainworra, Woiwurra, Woiwurong, Woewurong, Woiwurrung, Woi-Wurung, Wuywurrung, Waworong, Wauerong, Wawoorong, Woororong, Woe-wu-rrong, Waewarung,, Woiwurung [Clark 1990:379]
Wuy wurrung, Woiworung, Wurundjeri, Coolies, Coraloon, Djadjuwuru, Gungung willam, Gunungwillam, Kukuruk, Kurunjang, Mort Noular, Mortnoular, Ngarukwillam, Nuthergalla, Oorongie, Oorongir, Urunjeri, Waarengbadawa, Wainworra, Wairwaioo, Warerong, Warorong, Warwaroo, Wavoorong, Wawoo rong, Wawoorong, Wawurong, Wawurrong, Wciwurru, Woeewoorong, Woeewoorung, Woeworung, Woiwurong, Woiwurra, Woiwurrong, Woiwurru, Woiwuru, Woiwurung, Wooeewoorong, Wowerong, Wurrundyirra baluk, Wurrunjeri, Wurunjeri, Wurunjerri, Wurunjerri baluk, Yarra Yarra, Wuywurrung, Woi wurrung, Jagger jagger tribe, Jagger Jagger tribe, Dutigalla, Dutagall, Jaga Jaga tribe, Jacky Jacky tribe, Worworong, Port Phillip tribe, Jacka Jacka tribe, Wave ver rong, Waverong, Waverang, Waworong, Wavorong, Wavarong, Wavererong, Wawarong, Waoorong, Wa wo rong, Wa ver ong, Melbourne dialect, Douta Galla, Nuther Galla, Wooworong, Warworong, Wowoorong, Waworung, Woovoorong, Wayoerong, Woeworong, Wawaurrong, Yarra Yarra tribe, Doutta Galla tribe, Nuther Galla tribe, Melbourne tribe, Bayry Binip tribe, Yarra tribe, Jigga Jigga tribe, Port Phillip blacks, Wa woorong, Yarra River tribe, Woeywurong, Woe wurung, Woewurung, Woey wurung, Woi wurung, Woi wurru, Woi worung, Wawroonong, Woeworun, Woiwoeung tribe, Kukeruk, Warweroo, Woewurong, Woi Wurung, Wauerong, Woororong, Woe wu rrong, Waewarung, Woi wurrong, Woewo rung, Wavoo rong, Yarra Yarra Coolies, Yarra, N uther Galla

According to Blake (1991:31), this is a dialect of the same language as Boonwurrung S35 and Thagungwurrung S37.

Blake says the language has no name but he refers it as Woiwurrung (thus using Woiwurrung as both dialect and language name), he also calls it 'the Melbourne language'. He refers to the people who spoke these dialects as Kulin, noting that this is a narrower use of the term than is usual.

Blake (1991:30, 49) also indicates a possible additional dialect in the northern Thagungwurrung area, Ngoorra S83, which he says takes its name from the Ngoora-yilam clan. Blake reports that this dialect is identified by Barwick (1984:125), but says it may simply have been an alternative name for Thagungwurrung.

Clan names associated with Woiwurrung include Wurundjeri-balluk, Buluk-wilam, Kunnung-willam-baluk, Talam-willam, Kurung-jang-baluk, Marin-bulluk or Boi-berrit, Kurnaje-berreing (Blake: 1991: 46-47).

Oates (1975:189) subsumes S36 (Woiwurung in Oates and Oates 1970) under S37 (Daungwurung in Oates and Oates 1970), and assigns Woiwurung as a standard name for S37.


  • Barwick, Diane. 1984. Mapping the past: an atlas of Victorian clans 1835-1904. Pt 1. Aboriginal history, vol. 8, nos 1-2, pp. 100-131. (p BAR)
  • Blake, Barry. 1991. Woiwurrung, the Melbourne language. In Handbook of Australian languages vol. 4, eds R. M. W. Dixon and B. J. Blake, 30-122. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Clark, Ian. 1990. Aboriginal languages and clans: an historical atlas of western and central Victoria, 1800-1900: Monash Publications in Geography, 37. Melbourne: Department of Geographical and Environmental Science, Monash University.
  • Clark, Ian. 2005. Aboriginal language areas in Victoria - a reconstruction: a report to Victorian Aboriginal Corporation for Languages. Melbourne: Victorian Aboriginal Corporation for Languages.
  • Oates, Lynette F. 1975. The 1973 supplement to a revised linguistic survey of Australia. Armidale: Armidale Christian Book Centre.
  • Oates, William J. & Lynette F. Oates. 1970. A revised linguistic survey of Australia: Australian Aboriginal Studies 33, Linguistic Series 12. Canberra: AIAS.
State / Territory: 
Location information: 

Yarra Valley from the catchment area down to Heidelberg (Wurundjeri-balluk tribe), south of the Yarra valley extending down to Dandenong, Cranbourne and the Koo-wee-rup Swamp (Buluk-wilam tribe), between Mount Macedon and Daylesford (Kunnung-willam baluk tribe), around Bacchus Marsh (Kurung-jang-baluk tribe), land to the west of the Maribyrnong with Sunbury as a centre (Marinbulluk or Boi-berrit tribe), between Maribyrnong and the Yarra (Kurnaje-berreing tribe) (Blake 1991:46-47).

Yarra and Maribynong watersheds, bounded on the north by the Dividing Range from Mt. Bawbaw westward to Mt. William and Mt. Macedon, and on west by the Werribee River, defined by Robinson and Howitt's Kulin informants as the boundary between Woi wurrung and Wada wurrung (Clark 1990:379).



A short documentary by Suzanne Taylor has been made about the Woiwurrung school language lessons being taught by Joy Murphy.

Barry Blake
Indigenous organisations: 

Woiwurrung Aboriginal cultural heritage work Cultural & educational services Land management - https://www.wurundjeri.com.au/

Year Source Speaker numbers

Speaker numbers were measured differently across the censuses and various other sources listed in AUSTLANG. You are encouraged to refer to the sources.

Speaker numbers for ‘NILS 2004’ and ‘2005 estimate’ come from 'Table F.3: Numbers of speakers of Australian Indigenous languages (various surveys)' in 'Appendix F NILS endangerment and absolute number results' in McConvell, Marmion and McNicol 2005, pages 198-230 (PDF, 2.5MB).

Type Documentation Status Documentation Score
Word list Less than 20 pages 1
Text Collection None 0
Grammar A few articles 1
Audio-visual 1-10 2
Manuscript note: 
tape transcription/field note available (vocabulary) - unclear status

Blake, Barry. 1991 Woiwurrung: the Melbourne language. In The handbook of Australian languages vol 4. eds. RMW Dixon and B Blake, 30-122. Oxford University Press.


Blake, Barry. 1991 Woiwurrung: the Melbourne language. In The handbook of Australian languages vol 4. eds. RMW Dixon and B Blake, 30-122. Oxford University Press.

Source Family Group Sub-group Name Relationship
Ethnologue (2005)          
Dixon (2002)   WEST VICTORIAN AREAL GROUP Kulin subgroup* Wuy-wurrung Wuy-wurrung Blake (1991) further dialects: Bun-wurrung, Dhagung-wurrung
Wurm (1994) Pama-Nyungan Kulinic   Wuywurrung  
Walsh (1981) Pama-Nyungan Kulinic Kulin Wuywurrung Wuywurrung [dialects: Wuywurrung, Bunwurung, Thagawurung]
Oates (1975) Pama-Nyungan Kulinic Kulin Woiwurung (S37)  
Wurm (1972) Pama-Nyungan Kulinic Kulin Woiwuru (Taungurong, Daungwurung, Dhaguwuru)  
O'Grady, Voegelin and Voegelin (1966) Pama-Nyungan Kulinic Kulin Wurundjeri