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In 2015, First Languages Australia developed Junyirri for the Indigenous Languages Support Program, administered by the Department of Communications and the Arts. The aim was to assist the establishment and ongoing development of community language programs. Input from language centres around the country was essential to ensure that this framework is useful in all language contexts.

Junyirri draws on the shared experience of many different languages projects and programs within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities across Australia.

The framework is intended to guide people to think about their current language situation, their aspirations for the use of language in their community, what assets their community has available, and the types of language programs that might be suitable for their situation.

It draws on the shared experience of many different language projects and programs within Aboriginal communities and Torres Strait Islander communities across Australia.

Junyirri can help communities to:

  • assess their current language situation
  • define their language goals
  • identify and list the assets they have to help them reach their goals
  • consider whether training will help reach these goals
  • choose a language project based on the available community assets
  • make an assessment of the likely outcomes of the chosen project type
  • define where project outcomes fit in relation to the broader goals
  • write key performance indicators for a funding submission, based on a chosen project.

The title Junyirri was suggested by Gary Williams, from the Muurrbay Aboriginal Language and Culture Cooperative. Junyirri has a similar meaning to ‘talking together’, ‘conversing’ or ‘in conversation’ in the Gumbaynggirr language. It is pronounced ‘jun-yirri’, with the ‘u’ as in ‘put’, ‘I’ as in ‘bit’, and the emphasis on the first syllable.

Download Junyirri: A framework for planning community language projects.

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