Schools with Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander language programs

The aim of Marrin Gamu is to support and celebrate the work being done in projects such as yours, and to promote your achievements locally, nationally and internationally. Here are the four steps for this activity:

  1. Watch the song and have a group of language students translate it into your language.
  2. Help the group learn the song in your language and decide how to perform it.
  3. Record a film clip of your song and give it a title.
  4. Upload the video to the internet and send through a link

Backing track (right click and Save Link As… to download)

Extra activities for a Language class, English, Math or Humanities and Social Sciences- History classes

Additional resources

For other ideas that you can use to take students’ learning from the language class back to the main classroom, please refer to the Cross-curricular Activities.

Step 1.
Watch the sample video with your class
Identify the different languages in the video and where they are from.

Download the Marrin Gamu map as a PDF.

After watching the video, work with the students to translate the song into your language.

An English translation can be downloaded here.

Questions for the class:

  1. Are their any similarities between the body words in the languages in the video and your language?
  2. Is there any reason the song cannot be directly translated into your language?
  3. What might you do to overcome this?
Step 2.
Listen to the song and learn it in your language
Listen to the sample song.

Listen to the beat of the song using the backing track. Learn how to count in together and practice your song with this backing track.

Sheet music can be downloaded here.

The below backing track can be downloaded here. Right click to “Save As”.

Think about a performance.

Your performance of the song can be as simple or as creative as you like.

Step 3.
Make your own film clip
Once you have practiced the song, it is time to record.

It doesn’t matter if you haven’t done any film making before. We recommend you watch these video tips from ABC Open to help you on your way.


Give the song a suitable title in your language.

The title Marrin Gamu combines the word for body in two of the languages in the film clip:

Marrin – Wiradjuri (NSW)

Gamu – Kalaw Kawaw Ya (Torres Strait)

You can give your song whatever title you like.

Remember this is the name that will be used to promote your song, so go with something catchy that can be said easily, even by people who don’t speak your language.

Step 4.
Upload your video onto the internet

Upload your video to Vimeo or YouTube, Facebook, Indigitube or anywhere else that can be viewed by the public. Make the video settings public. If you put it on a personal page you don’t need to make your whole page public, just the video, so check the settings.

Email us a link to the video and we will include it with the contributions from around the country.

If you don’t know how to upload your film and can’t find someone to help, you can send us a USB with your clip on it and we will upload it for you and send you the link.

ABC Education has joined us to promote a competition around the contributions, so check out their website to find out how to upload your version there too for national promotion and the opportunity for some fabulous prizes.

Extra Activities

We have developed some teachers’ notes to assist you with language class activities. You might also like to pass these onto your students’ other teachers.

Classroom teachers may like use the Cross-curricular section of this site, to see how they can work with you to embed Marrin Gamu in other key learning areas.

Language Class Activities:

Make a body chart for your classroom.

Have a student lie down on butcher’s paper, or stand against a whiteboard and draw around them.

Work with the students to label parts of the body included in the song: eyes, ears, hand, foot, leg, arm, head. Make the appropriate labels in your local language/s.

Have the students take the chart back to their classroom where the classroom teacher can use it across a range of learning areas.


Make a new chart with the English translations, as well translations into one or two other languages that children in the classroom speak, and one other first Australian language (you can provide this from the song translation).


The above map shows where the languages in the Marrin Gamu video come from. Download it for your students here.

Using the Marrin Gamu map and a map of the world (or a globe) ask your students to point to where each of the language in your translations come from.

Other questions:

  • What is the primary language spoken in your classroom?
  • Where does it come from?
Humanities and Social Sciences – History:

Look at where the languages spoken by members of your class are located on the map. Identify where these languages were originally spoken. Look at where they are spoken now.

What are the first languages of your region?

You may like to look at Gambay – Languages map for reference.

Please note: this map is a guide only, you and your students may have different information. First Languages Australia is pleased to receive feedback regarding the language names, spellings, relationships and placements on the map.

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Additional resources

Here are some resources that have been made by different first language groups and organisations to help share words for the body in their language. If your language program has resources you would like to share here please send us the details.

Story book

Caring for Kiara – A book about staying healthy and learning the names of body parts in your region.

Word list

Gambara Gamu Biyu – A wordlist template developed by the State Library of Queensland.

Body Chart

Ngarla body chart – Made in Ngarla language by Wangka Maya Pilbara Aboriginal Language Centre.

Body poster – A poster by Batchelor Press available 45 indigenous languages.

Further Lesson Plans:

Western Australia

Head, shoulders, knees and toes – Goldfields, Department of Education, WA

My body (names of parts of the body) – Unit of five lessons provides meaningful opportunities for students to practise vocabulary associated with parts of the body. Department of Education, WA.


Parts of the Body – Languages Other Than English: Aboriginal Languages, Cultures and Reclamation in Victorian Schools (Pathway 2 Level 5). Victorian Essentials Learning Standards.