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Incorporated as a company limited by guarantee, First Languages Australia is advised by a group of eleven committee members who manage a range of specialised portfolios.

 

Geoff Anderson Geoff came to understand the power of language when he found personal healing by coming to learn his own Wiradjuri language. He is now a powerful advocate within the schools and the whole Parkes community, helping to teach people of all ages. Geoff is a member of the Parkes Aboriginal Education Consultative Group and the Wiradjuri Council of Elders.
Faith Baisden Faith is coordinator for First Languages Australia and responsible for the administrative portfolio of the organisation. She is a member of the Queensland Indigenous Languages Advisory Committee and has a strong interest in the production of resources for language programs and the use of new technologies to help with language teaching. Her country is Yugambeh in south east Queensland.
Melinda Holden Melinda Holden, a Warrgamay and Goreng Goreng woman, has a Diploma in Linguistic and Planning and Diploma in Material Production. She played a key role in the establishment of the North Queensland Region Aboriginal Corporation Language Centre. Melinda has developed several resource materials in her mother's language. She is also a member of the Queensland Indigenous Languages Advisory Committee.
Karina Lester

Karina Lester is an Anangu woman from Central Australia and a speaker of Yankunytjatjara language. She is the Aboriginal Language co/ manager for the Mobile Languages Unit in South Australia, working closely with regional and remote communities on a diverse range of projects and is also an Anangu Interpreter and Translator. Karina has had extensive experience with the media including work with the ABC and as a producer with Nganampa Wangka (Radio Adelaide).

Daryn McKenny

Daryn McKenny has Gamilaraay and Wiradjuri heritage though he was born and on raised in Awabakal country in the Newcastle area of NSW. Daryn is passionate about developing ways of using technology to empower Aboriginal people to be hands-on at all levels of language conservation. His organisation developed Miromaa and the "Our Languages" website and organises the biennial Puliima National Indigenous Language and Technology Conference. Daryn sits on a number of international committees as well as being focused on Awabakal language work at home.

Bruce Pascoe

Bruce is an author, editor, social commentator. He took part in the 2020 Summit, played a key role in The First Australians Series for television and in 2012 was awarded the Prime Minister's Literary Award for Young Adult Fiction for his 27th work, Fog a Dox.

Paul Paton

Paul is Gunai and Monaro from south-eastern Australia. He has extensive community networks in Victoria and a very good understanding of the issues that face communities in the revival of their local languages. Paul has established and works with a large number of committees and reference groups at local, state and federal levels. As Executive Officer of the Victorian Aboriginal Corporation for Languages, Paul supports Victoria's more than 30 languages, through advocacy, training and resource production.

Bridget Priman

Bridget Priman is an Aboriginal linguist who has been involved in the language arena for many years. She has developed several resource materials in her Warrgamay language and is an author of children's stories. Bridget is a passionate activist for grassroots language communities and is a founding member of the Queensland Indigenous Languages Advisory Committee.

Philemon Mosby

Phillemon Mosby is a Kulkakalgau Ya man from Poruma Island in the Central Torres Strait. For many years he was Councillor for the Torres Strait Island Regional Council, and a Director of the Torres Strait Regional Authority. Phillemon is working with elders to revive their language and encourage it back into regular use. Phillemon is a strong advocate for the importance of keeping languages alive. 

Theresa Sainty

Theresa Sainty is a Pakana woman. Theresa has worked extensively with the Tasmanian Department of Aboriginal Education Services where she co-developed and provided Aboriginal Cultural Awareness training, and produced a number of curriculum resources. She is an Aboriginal Linguistic Consultant for the Tasmanian Aboriginal Corporation with the palawa kani Language Program. Theresa looks forward to hearing her language spoken more and more, and ultimately have more original place names formally acknowledged with dual names.

Angelina Joshua  Angelina Joshua is a young person involved a community language program and has a strong interest in helping to encourage the participation of youth in new and innovative language projects. She is a language worker at Ngukurr Language Centre, and has been working to revitalise the languages of the Roper River region since 2014.
Angelina works mostly with her language, Marra, and is proud to now be teaching her language with Ngukurr Language Centre at Ngukurr School. Angelina has recently brought Marra to the world stage by telling her story to SBS, and together they created an online interactive story called My Grandmother's Lingo. Angelina's vision is to see more young people involved in learning and working with their languages.

Jennifer Kniveton 

Jennifer was born and raised in Geraldton and plays an active leadership role in her community. Jennifer has many years of experience working in remote and rural Aboriginal communities, in the Midwest, Murchison, Gascoyne, Pilbara, West and East Kimberley.  Her passion is working with her people and empowering the community especially the younger generation, to take on a community leadership role to help shape their futures.  Jennifer has a special interest in language revitalisation and acknowledges the power, pride and belief, that comes from speaking one’s own language in their own setting.  She has worked for 30 years with government agencies, including Department of Aboriginal Affairs, Department for Community Development, Commonwealth Department of Employment, Education and Youth Affairs, State Department of Education in the Kimberley and Pilbara.

Contact Us

 
Phone
+61 2 4940 9144  or
1300 975 246
 
First Languages Australia
Postal address
PO Box 528 Newcastle 2300
 
Administration
Level 1/840 Hunter St
Newcastle West, NSW 2302

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 languages? +

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