Elders develop language resources
26th July 2012
On 12 July 2012, a series of learning resources were launched in the Worrorra, Ngarinyin and Wunambal languages to support language revitalisation in the Mowanjum community of the Kimberley in Western Australia.
Elders from the three language groups living in the Mowanjum community, 15km south of Derby, have worked over the last year to document their languages and to produce the child-friendly books, posters and language learning resources for use in schools and the community.
Published by Batchelor Press, the specialty in-house publishing division of Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education, the resources document traditional knowledge in natural history and family relationships. The readers are written from a child’s perspective and describe relationships with family members such as grandparents, Aunties and Uncles, as well as the activities they are involved in, such as fishing and finding bush tucker and going to the ‘footy’. Dingoes, sea creatures such as cockles and crabs, plants, musical instruments, traditional tools and weapons also feature in the stories.
Heather Umbagai, one of the Elders involved noted, “This project is very important, because to lose your identity is something that you can never put words to. We would like our languages to be available in the education, health and justice systems.”
The Project Manager, Maree Klesch, emphasised that reviving and recovering Aboriginal languages is a vital part of keeping cultural traditions and knowledge alive so these can be passed on to future generations.
The project has been funded by the Australian Government through Indigenous Language Support (ILS) and by the Dambimangari Aboriginal Corporation in Derby. ILS aims to address the erosion and loss of Australia’s estimated 250 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages by supporting their maintenance, revival and development.
For further information contact Maree Klesch on 0427 713223 or firstname.lastname@example.org