FLA Logo 300x

News

Address to the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs

ESALG members were asked to speak on a wide range of topics relating to community language programs and engagement with government, when they addressed the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs Inquiry into language learning in Indigenous communities.  Bridget Priman and Faith Baisden represented ESALG at the hearing in Parliament House Brisbane on the 6th October. They are pictured talking about resources with Chair of the committee Mr. Shayne Neumann and Deputy Chair Dr. Sharman Stone. The report from the inquiry is expected to be tabled in Parliament in early 2012.

Reception at Admiralty House

Some members of the Eastern States Aboriginal Languages Group were recently invited to attend a reception hosted by the Governor General at Admiralty House Sydney. The event was to mark the NSW launch of  Margaret Somerville’s book “They Crossed a Continent” and to acknowledge the work of the Puuya Foundation. ESALG members Geoff Anderson and Kevin Lowe took time to meet Tanya Denning from the National Indigenous Television and Emma Sydenham from SNAICC, the Secretariat National Aboriginal Islander Child Care, both of whom share strong interest in the language focus of the ESALG team.

Gawaymbanhadhu Wiradjuri ngurambanggu Kevin!

NSW delegate Geoff Anderson took advantage of a surprise meeting with The Minister for Foreign Affairs Kevin Rudd at Parkes airport recently. The minister was on his was to Condobolin to officially open The Wiradjuri Study Centre when he met with Geoff, who was flying out to Sydney. Our man in Parkes welcomed the Minister with a greeting in Wiradjuri, and assured him he would be in town for his next visit. (Welcome to Wiradjuri country it says.)

Geoff Anderson welcomes Kevin Rudd at Parks Airport.

An edited version of the Foreign Affairs Minister's remarks at the opening of the Wiradjuri Study Centre at Condobolin on Tuesday 27th November is available on the Sydney Morning Herald website.

Expert Panel on Constitutional Recognition of Indigenous Australians

Eastern States Aboriginal Languages Group contributed a submission to the Expert Panel on Constitutional Recognition of Indigenous Australians. The panel was formed to draw comment from Australians generally regarding changing the constitution to recognise Indigenous Australians.

ESALG would like to see the constitution changed to properly recognise the place of Indigenous languages, and the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to maintain and use their language.

Great News from The New South Wales State Library

The State Library of New South Wales, a key partner in the ESALG's National Indigenous Languages Collections Strategy, has scored international recognition for undertaking a project to unearth language records from within its earliest collection materials.

In line with the recommendations from the ESALG's National Indigenous Languages Collections  Forum, the State Library of New South Wales has entered into a ground-breaking project partnership with Rio Tinto which will hopefully pave the way for the development of new protocols for research and community engagement with the materials held in the major collecting institutions in Australia.

The project will be the leading topic when Eastern States Aboriginal Languages Group and partners to the Indigenous Languages Collections Strategy will meet in Sydney on the 26th August.

Read more: Great News from The New South Wales State Library

Inquiry into Language Learning in Indigenous Communities

The role of Indigenous languages in Closing the Gap and improving outcomes for Indigenous communities is the subject of a new inquiry by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs.

The inquiry will examine the benefits of giving recognition to Indigenous languages, and how Indigenous languages can be used in education to improve competency in English. In addition, the inquiry will examine current maintenance and revitalisation programs for Indigenous languages.

Never before has there been an inquiry of this type in relation to Indigenous languages. The Committee invites interested persons and organisations to make submissions addressing the terms of reference by Friday, 19 August 2011. Details on how to make a submission are on House of Representatives Standing Committee’s website.

Read more: Inquiry into Language Learning in Indigenous Communities

Australian Curriculum Assessment Reporting Authority

In addition to the consultations for the recently published Draft Shape of the Australian Curriculum: Languages

ACARA has called for discussion and feedback on the cross-curriculum priorities in the Australian Curriculum. 'Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures' is one of three cross-curriculum priorities. Indigenous languages are the first point under the heading 'Culture' and are specifically mentioned as relevant to the English curriculum.

Read more: Australian Curriculum Assessment Reporting Authority

Reviving Indigenous languages

More than 100 Aboriginal languages are critically in danger of disappearing unless more effort is put into reviving them.

The benefits of doing this is the subject of a new inquiry by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs.

It will examine how the learning of Indigenous languages could help to overcome the disadvantage experienced by Aboriginal Australians

We hear from Professor Ghil'ad Zuckermann, Australia's first Chair of Endangered Languages at the University of Adelaide, and Karina Lester, a Yankunytjatjara Anangu woman and Aboriginal Language worker.

Radio National Life Matters interview

Indigenous languages are dying

Communication is vital for everyday life but what happens when your way of communicating disappears? This is happening to Indigenous languages in Australia. Featuring: Dr Ghil'ad Zuckermann - Professor of Linguistics and Endangered Languages at the University of Adelaide; Dr Michael Christie - Professor of Education at Charles Darwin University and Australian of the Year 2011 from the Northern Territory.

An article on The Wire.

Adelaide Professor of Linguistics and Endangered Languages Dr Ghil’ad Zuckermann speaks on Strong Voices

Of the 250 known Aboriginal languages, only 15 are widely spoken, meaning nearly 95 % are either ‘dead’ or ‘about to die’….according to University of Adelaide Professor of Linguistics Dr Ghil’ad Zuckermann.

Mr Zuckermann says he believes Aboriginal people should get compensation for the loss of language, in the form of funding or the establishment of a committee to assist in the recovery of lost languages.

Speaking on CAAMA Radio, Mr Zuckermann said language is a window to all the other aspects of life, and has much significance when it comes to spirituality and healthy well-being.

Meeting at AIATSIS

ESALG members were pleased to accept an invitation from AIATSIS Director Mr. Russell Taylor to hold their November meeting at the Institute, using the opportunity to share information between the two groups.

Read more: Meeting at AIATSIS

Contact us

Phone  +61 2 4940 9144  or  1300 975 246
 
Visit  2 Milton St, Hamilton, NSW, 2303
Post PO Box 74, Hamilton, NSW 2303

Learn more

  • Join First Languages Australia's network +

    You can assist in the work of First Languages Australia by becoming an active member of our network. Collectively, First Read More
  • Australia’s first languages +

    Australia’s First Languages are a wonderful and precious resource. Australia is situated in one of the world’s linguistic hot spots. Read More
  • Why maintain our languages? +

    There are many reasons to maintain Australia's first languages. Chapter 3 of the Australian Human Rights Commission, Social Justice Report Read More
  • 1