Following a lengthy period of consultation and planning, we are pleased to let you know that a national advocacy group for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages will begin operating from early December. It was decided that this new national body will be known as First Languages Australia.
The aim of this group will be:
“To advocate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages in Australia, through discussions with a broad range of relevant government and non-government departments and organisations.”
First Languages Australia will aim to provide a collaborative link between community and the organisations charged with serving them.
The first steps for the group will involve;
• investigating the most appropriate method of registration of the organisation
• a call for membership
• a call for expressions of interest to take up new positions on the committee.
On the national level, this is a time of great changes and opportunities, and the members of First Languages Australia will be keen to tackle these challenges as it begins operations, establishing itself with key partners both here and internationally.
We’d like to thank those who have contributed to the discussions around the formation of First Languages Australia. We look forward to talking with many more people over the coming months and will welcome your input and feedback to the work of this organisation.
A new website and associated materials will be developed in early 2013. In the mean time please refer to the Eastern States Aboriginal Languages Group website for updates and add yourself to the mailing list.
We look forward to having the opportunity to work with you.
First Languages Australia
Phone: 07 3286 3965
Mobile: 0417 628 437
An Article by Bruce Pascoe for the Eastern States Aboriginal Languages Group.
Here’s the perfect opportunity to positively affect the education of the country and bring black and white Australians towards an understanding of each other. Federal Parliament’s standing committee on indigenous affairs has released a bipartisan report calling for more action to protect endangered indigenous languages, and recommending bilingual education.
At the same time new state and federal teaching curriculum models are being formulated which include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages and culture. Our educators will be responsible for the presentation of these topics to our children, not only for Aboriginal communities who already speak their language but also in communities where language is no longer spoken. This will be the best history lesson ever taught. (more…)
By ABC Open Producer Wiriya Sati
Where do the names for animals and things come from? Someone at some stage made a decision: we’re going to call this animal a platypus. Actually is was during the late 18th century: from Greek platupous ‘flatfooted,’ from platus ‘flat’ + pous ‘foot.’
So being that it’s an Australian animal, what was it called in Aboriginal Languages?
In reminiscing her first year in the job Suzanne Taylor of ABC Open comments:
“I also embarked on the ‘Mother Tongue’ Indigenous languages pilot project, which started during NAIDOC week. I’ve been working with local communities and Eastern States Aboriginal Languages Group to produce a series of films on how language is being kept alive in their regions. So far, we’ve produced stories about the Wiradjuri language of NSW, the GunaiKurnai language of East Gippsland and the Woiwurrung language of Melbourne and north-east Victoria.” (more…)
Sharon Grierson, Member for Newcastle, spoke in parliament on the “Our Land, Our Languages: Language Learning in Indigenous Communities” report tabled yesterday by the Standing Committee on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs.
“This is the culmination of much work by the committee that I’ve been proud to have been a part of.”
Today federal Parliament releases the Our Land, Our Languages report, stemming from the recent inquiry into Learning Languages in Indigenous Communities. Our Land, Our Languages draws on 154 submissions and 23 public hearings held throughout Australia over the course of a year. The report comprehensively argues for greater recognition and resourcing of indigenous languages and calls for action to halt the embarrassing rate of loss and endangerment of native languages. It is a thorough, measured, yet still ambitious document arguing for indigenous languages to be elevated into a position of greater prominence and prosperity.
Today the Standing Committee on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs tabled its report on the inquiry into language learning in Indigenous communities entitled Our Land Our Languages.
By Damien Hooper and Deb Banks, for ABC Local, Mildura. From the Our Mother Tongue project with ABC Open.
European and Asian languages are predominantly taught in schools, but interest is also growing for languages closer to home. Mildura’s language circle, consisting of elders and teachers are trying to encourage the inclusion of Indigenous languages in the curriculum.
By ABC Open Producer Wiriya Sati.
Sound foley is often overlooked these days with the ability to grab free sounds from the internet. But when it comes to creating sound effects for a magical time and place, what sound will we use for Biame, the great creation spirit snake?
Three generations of women came together to tell their grandfather ‘Gula’ William Holten’s creation story, using some of their own language, Gathang that they’ve been learning through a TAFE course.
The audio recording workshop was transformed into a sound folly studio with wooden instruments, tambarines and clapsticks to create the sounds of rain and thunder, and to signify the sounds of the great totem spirits: Porpoise, Bass fish, Wedge tailed eagle and the great creation snake-spirit Biame.
“I’m a Queenslander too!” said Mr. Michael Bryce AM AE as he stepped up for a photo with the QILAC members who attended a reception at Government House in Canberra.
The event, held during NAIDOC week was to honour Indigenous languages and the Elders who have worked to keep them alive over the past 30 years.