I. Muurrbay believe, in the words of our National Aboriginal language federation, “…language is not just simply a means of communication; it also provides a means through which the culture, social values and world view of a particular language group can be identified and understood.” (FATSIL). Along with this body we believe that language is fundamental to culture. Therefore we emphasise a wholistic approach to heritage and culture where language is considered integeral to all aspects of Aboriginal lifestyle.

II. As our Aboriginal languages proved a cultural link to our past and our future and as they truly reflect an indigenous heritage, Muurrbay sees its mission to preserve, maintain and revive our Aboriginal languages and to teach them in our communities.

III. While recognising the uniqueness and value of Aboriginal culture in every part of Australia, we feel a need to address the heritage of our own area. The Goories – Aboriginal people – of our part of the Mid North Coast are descended largely from the Dhanggati and Gumbaynggirr Tribes. Because this organisation was started by Gumbaynggirr Elders, it is to this language and culture that we mainly address ourselves.

IV. Muurrbay have as a primary goal the gathering and study of Gumbaynggirr language and culture resources (as taping of informants, gathering of information from museums and other institutions, weekly oral practice of Gumbaynggirr language).

V. Another major goal is the development of teaching materials and practices. Since the staff are regularly called upon for educational inputs, these materials are tested and refined.

VI. A third goal we strive for, is to pass on a living language and culture. We believe ‘culture’ is learned ways of having a fulfilled life. Therefore we strive to hand on learning which is not just dead history but shapes attitudes and values that help the learner’s life to be more fulfilled.

VII. We are of, and respect, the many academic institutions that have an extensive educational role. They emphasise Aboriginality, and the many historical influences, Australia-wide, on Aboriginal life. However, Muurrbay’s educational emphasis is intensive: on one specific culture and language, with roots in the past, but life in the present. Furthermore, we emphasise Goories as living, adapting agents, not as passive objects of study.