Borobi returns to teach indigenous languages on the Gold Coast

Borobi’s making his comeback to the Gold Coast, returning from a year-long retirement to teach indigenous languages.

Borobi was the Gold Coast’s loveable mascot for the 2018 Commonwealth Games, which commenced this time last year.

At the peak of his career, Borobi’s giant blue koala image was beamed into homes of 1.5 billion sports fans around the world.


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Now his career will reach new heights – as he takes on his new role of helping the Gold Coast’s Yugambeh Museum teach South East Queensland primary school students about indigenous languages.

Borobi’s boss, Kate Jones – Commonwealth Games Minister and Tourism Minister – says Borobi’s worked hard for this opportunity.

“This year, Borobi will retrain as a teacher and will share his extensive knowledge of Indigenous languages and culture with local primary school children,” Ms Jones said.

With the agreement from the Commonwealth Games Federation, the Borobi character will be animated and incorporated in the Yugambeh Online Language program, which has been trialled in more than 18 schools and 36 early education centres in southeast Queensland since October 2018.

Yugambeh Museum Chief Executive Officer Rory O’Connor says the animated Borobi will feature on the online classroom teaching portal for now, though may have broader applications in the future to help promote tourism and koala conservation.

“Borobi’s unrivalled recognition and appeal to younger Queenslanders has been proven.

“Now the Yugambeh Museum, with the support of the Queensland Government, will ensure his happy blue face is synonymous with language, storytelling and cultural revival.

“There used to be 250 Indigenous languages spoken in Australia, now 90 per cent are considered endangered.

“Borobi will be a great asset in keeping Indigenous Australian language alive.

“The potential for Borobi as a language ambassador is yet to be imagined.

“He may help to introduce and promote Indigenous language words in everyday situations, sharing stories and language to help make us all more aware of local language and stories,” Mr O’Connor said.

For more information about the Yugambeh Museum and their language learning resources, click here.

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