D10: Wiradjuri

AIATSIS code: 
AIATSIS reference name: 


Thesaurus heading language
Thesaurus heading people
ABN name
Wiradjuri language (Previously Wiradhuri language)
ABS name
Horton name
Ethnologue name
ISO 639-3 code
Tindale name
Tindale (1974)
Wiradyuri, Wiradhuri, Wiraduri, Wiradjeri, Wirra' jerre', Wiradhari, Wirra-dhari, Wirradhurri, Wirra-dthoor-ree, Wirraidyuri, Wirraddury, Wiraijuri, Wirraijuri, Wi-iratheri, Wirrathuri, Wiradthuri, Wiradthery, Wirathere, Wiratheri, Wiragere, Wuradjeri, Wira-durei, Wira-shurri, Wirradgerry, Weradgerie, Woradgery, Waradgeri, Wiratu-rai, Wiradurei, Wirrajerry, Weorgery, Woradjera, Woorad-gery, Woorajuri, Woradjerg, Weerarthery (said to be Ka-milaroi name), Wirotheree, Wiratheri, Wooratheri, Wooratherie, Wiiradurei, Wirra-dthooree, Warradjerrie, Waradgery, Wayradgee, Wirrajeree, Wirradjery, Wir-ra' jer-ree, Wirrai-yarrai, Wirrach-arree, Wiradjwri (typographical error), Warrai Durhai, Wirraidyuri, Kunamildan (of the Thaua, means 'come by night,' i.e., night raiders), Wagga tribe (a horde).
O'Grady et al (1966)
Wiradhuri, Wiraduri, Wiradjeri, Wiradhari, Wirraidyuri, Wiratheri, Wirashuri, Werogery, Woradjera, Wordjerg, Wira-Athorree, Wirajeree, Wirraiyarrai, Wirracharee
Other sources
Wiradhurri, Wirratherie, Wirradgerry, Waradgery, Woradgery, Wiradhuri, Jeithi, Berrembeel, Junamildan, Wagga tribe, Waradgeri, Warandgeri, Warradjerrie, Warrai Durhai, Wayradgee, Weeragurie, Weerarthery, Weorgery, Weradgerie, Werogeri, Werogery, Wiiradurei, Wiiratheri, Wir rajer ree, Wira athoree, Wira durei, Wira shurri, Wiradhari, Wiradjari, Wiradjeri, Wiradjwri, Wiradthery, Wiradthuri, Wiradurei, Wiraduri, Wiradyuri, Wiragere, Wiraijuri, Wirajarai, Wirajeree, Wirajerry, Wirashuri, Wirathere, Wiratheri, Wiraturai, Wirotheree, Wirra jerre, Wirrajerre, Wirra athoree, Wirra dhari, Wirra dthoor ree, Wirra dthooree, Wirracharee, Wirrach arree, Wirraddury, Wirradhurri, Wirradjerri, Wirradjery, Wirraiyarrai, Wirrai yarrai, Wirraidyuri, Wirraijuri, Wirrajeree, Wirrajerry, Wirrathuri, Wooradgery, Woorajuri, Wooratheri, Wooratherie, Woradgery, Woradjera, Woradjerg, Wordjerg, Wuradjeri, Wira Athorree, Wi iratheri, Wiratu rai, Woorad gery, Wir ra jer ree, Kunamildan

Wafer and Lissarrague question whether Wiradjuri has always been used to refer to 'the whole language spoken in the area from Dubbo and Mudgee in the north almost to Albury in the south, from Bathurst in the east almost to Hay in the west'. They identify Wirraayaraay D65 as a related northern dialect, but leave the question of whether Tindale's Jeithi D58 refers to a separate dialect of Wiradjuri or not unresolved. The language name is constructed with the word for 'no' wirraay and the Central NSW language comitative suffix -juurray / -dhuurraay (2008:221-222).

The spelling "Wiradyuri" is preferred by some members of the language community, especially in the Bathurst region. The letters /dj/ or /dy/ represent one sound, a voiced palatal stop (halfway between an English [d] and [k] sound).

  • Berndt, Ronald M. 1962. Aborigines: magic and sorcery. Australian Encyclopaedia, 2nd edn, vol. 1.
  • Dutton, H.S. 1901. Linguistics. Science of Man, vol. 3, no. 12, pp. 208 - 10.
  • Maguire, J. 1901. Buggeen - the evil spirit. Science of Man, vol. 4, no. 4, p.88.
  • Thomas, W.N. 1900. Linguistics - Wiraiari tribe. Science of Man, vol. 3, no. 10, pp. 166 - 7.
  • Tindale, Norman B. 1974. Tribal boundaries in Aboriginal Australia. University of California Press/ANU Press.
  • Wafer, Jim, and Amanda Lissarrague. 2008. A handbook of Aboriginal languages of New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory. Nambucca Heads: Muurrbay Aboriginal Language and Culture Co-operative.
State / Territory: 
Location information: 

On the Lachlan River and south from Condobolin to Booligal; at Carrathool, Wagga-Wagga, Cootamundra, Cowra, Parkes, Trundle; east to Gundagai, Boorowa, and Rylstone; at Wellington, Mudgee, Bathurst, and Carcoar; west along Billabong Creek to beyond Mossgiel; southwest to near Hay and Narrandera; south to Howlong on upper Murray; at Albury and east to about Tumbarumba. They visited Yass for ceremonies with the Ngunawal tribe. The northwestern boundary was incorrectly drawn on the 1940 map. Brough Smyth shows that members of the tribe were on the Murray River at Albury (Tindale 1974).


Michele Herbert of Forbes North Primary School has been teaching Wiradyuri for several years (2006). Kelso Public School received funding to teach Wiradyuri language and produce language resource materials (2007). Restoration House in Canberra have produced a number of language learning resources. A short documentary has been made by Suzanne Taylor showcasing the success of the school Wiradyuri lessons program in Parkes. It is being shown on ABC Open television. (2012) The Parkes Wiradyuri Language Group is producing resources and running community language classes open to anyone interested. (2012)



A Wiradyuri course is available to complete at Charles Sturt University (CSU) - Staff include Letitia Harris, Uncle Stan Grant Sr, Elaine Lomas (Aunty Swan), Sue Green, Uncle Pat Connolly, Uncle Harry (Yarri) Lambshead, Deb Evans


Tamsin Donaldson, Stan Grant, Dianne Hosking, Janet Mathews, Sally McNicol, John Rudder, Stan Grant Snr, Nyanda Ngudjuwa Aboriginal Corporation
Indigenous organisations: 

Wiradjuri Facebook

Wiradjuri Condoblin Corporation https://wiradjuricc.com/

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 Large (more than 200 pages) 4
Text Collection Small (20-100 pages) 2
Grammar Small grammar (100-200 pages) 3
Audio-visual 1-10 2
Manuscript note: 
tape transcription/field note available

Grant, Stan. 2001. Wiradjuri language: how it works: a grammar in everyday English. ACT: Restoration House.

Günther, James. 1838. Native dialect, Wirradurri, spoken in the Wellington district, microfilm.


Rudder, John Cornish. 2005. A first Wiradjuri dictionary: English to Wiradjuri, Wiradjuri to English and categories of things. ACT: Restoration House. Grant, Stan and Rudder, John. 2010. A new Wiradjuri dictionary: English to Wiradjuri, Wiradjuri to English, categories of things and reference tables. Canberra, ACT: Restoration House.

Source Family Group Sub-group Name Relationship
Ethnologue (2005) Pama-Nyungan Wiradyuric   Wiradyuri  
Dixon (2002)   CENTRAL NEW SOUTH WALES GROUP Central inland New South Wales subgroup* Wiradhurri (or Wirratherie or Wirradgerry or Waradgery or Woradgery, etc.) Wiradhurri (or Wirratherie or Wirradgerry or Waradgery or Woradgery, etc.) H. Hale (1846), Günther (1892) possible further dialect: Wiraiari
Wurm (1994) Pama-Nyungan Wiradhuric   Wiradhuri  
Walsh (1981) Pama-Nyungan Wiradhuric   Wiradhuri (Wiradjuri)  
Oates (1975) Pama-Nyungan Wiradjuric Main Wiradjuric Wiradjuri  
Wurm (1972) Pama-Nyungan Wiradjuric Main Wiradjuric Wiradjuri  
O'Grady, Voegelin and Voegelin (1966) Pama-Nyungan Wiradjuric Main Wiradjuri