Miliwanga Wurrben


Name: Miliwanga Wurrben
Occupation: Cultural Consultant
Place of Residence: Katherine, NT
Tribe/Language: Rembarrnga people

Miliwanga (Mili) Wurrben, 57, lives in Katherine in the Northern Territory, where she works as a cultural consultant. Mili is a Rembarrnga woman. She grew up on the Barunga and Wagularr Indigenous communities, southeast of Katherine, NT. Her ancestors are from Centre Island, NT.

Mili knew God from a young age and learnt English by reading the Old King James Bible with a missionary couple. She has since been involved in translating the Bible into Creole.  “I have always been a translator. God used me when I was a child interpreting for my mother, translating the Word, not only to my mother, but to my people and my elders as well,” she said.

“We knew God from the Bible,” said Mili. “Being out in the bush, He lived among us. I would always play guitar and we would sing songs and it was there that we first started translating songs into our language. Our fellowship was out in the open.”

“To this day we don’t even have a church building. We still worship God outside, outdoors. Always besides fires, even in the coldest times, we have all the big fires burning, people sitting around.”

“The fire is coming…I’m talking about the Holy Ghost fire here, it is coming. Then we shall no longer be in control by someone else. God does not like that. God does not like slavery. We do not even have a word for slavery in my language. God wants us to be free from all things.”

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