First Languages Australia is partnering on the ABC’s Deep Time project

The Deep Time project team may potentially reach out to community researchers to collate stories from around their regions and hoping that languages centres will be able to identify appropriate people.

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The ABC News Story Lab team is producing a digital timeline that explores the 65,000+ years of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, as a way of celebrating the depth of the oldest culture which is still going. 

To help you visualise a possible representation of the project, the deep sea story layout is the kind of approach we may take to show the scale of Aboriginal history vs the past 232 years since white settlement and other historical markers like the construction of the pyramids 4,500 years ago.

Community voice

Community consultation is the key to helping bring many of these stories to life, but also most importantly, making sure the project is led by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voices.

Much of the current research and published material around this deep history focuses on archaeological finds. The project team is lead by Indigenous journalists and they want this piece to focus more on what we know about First Nations people and how we lived and adapted on this vast continent.  

They know we’ve got a big task ahead of us but they aim to roll the project out later this year.

So far, they have collected and researched around 150 stories from around the country, and are just about to begin reaching out to communities to tell connect them with ABC reporters to capture and make Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voices at the heart of the stories.

As they begin this phase of the project, they would like help from language programs to find the right community voices for these stories. There may also be times where talking to a community remotely won’t work and they need a community researcher on the ground to facilitate these interviews.

Recording languages

Where possible the team will record relevant stories and place names and send to First Languages Australia so they can be added to Gambay: First Languages Map.

They have amended their consent form to include consent to allow for inclusion on Gambay where appropriate.

Language centres and projects who are keen to be involved can This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for further details or speak directly with:

Solua Middleton|
Co-executive producer, Deep Time Australia
Story Lab | ABC News
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday
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P: 07 5595 2925

Read the Press Release.