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Jingi wala wahlu. Nanya nyari Mellie and you are listening to ABC Gold Coast

The first voices of Australia are now being heard across the country as the ABC partners with First Languages Australia to record local station call outs in the languages of the lands within their broadcast regions.

The partnerships will see hundreds of 15 second sound bites in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages for broadcast on ABC Regional across the country. The sound bites are known as ‘station IDs’ as they identify the local radio station. Radio producers around the country have been working with Indigenous community members to record and edit the IDs for broadcast.

FLA has had an important role to play in the creation of the project and in developing protocols, helping to teach broadcasters and creating opportunities for the recordings to take place.

This is one of many activities happening as part of First Languages Australia’s national media strategy, which is aimed at increasing awareness of the diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages and communities.

The project has been in the planning since 2012 and was officially launched by Senator Mitch Fifield, Minister for Communications and the Arts, at ArtLands Dubbo, the 2016 Regional Arts Australia conference.

At the invitation of First Languages Australia, ABC Regional has attended many language conferences and forums at both state and national levels to record IDs with interested participants. This has led to the creation of more than 140 station IDs, involving 50 different Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander languages. At the same time, many of the ABC producers have been recording video stories for inclusion on Gambay.

Faith Baisden, the Manager of First Languages Australia, sees the project as a bridge between Aboriginal communities, Torres Strait Islander communities, our national broadcaster and regional audiences.

This is a project of international significance allowing all listeners to connect with the first languages of Australia — among the oldest spoken languages in the world. People will come to understand the diversity of these hundreds of languages and the strong connection between the speakers and the lands they live in. Our collaboration with ABC Regional supports language groups around the country to have their voices heard proudly and strongly in the media landscape.
Faith Baisden, Manager, First Languages Australia

The ABC’s Regional Division has a presence in 48 locations across the country, making it well placed to build the local relationships required to see these station IDs recorded and broadcast in all of Australia’s traditional languages.

I’d like to sincerely thank First Languages Australia for partnering with us to produce ABC radio station IDs in language. It is a wonderful opportunity to further share local languages spoken by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, as part of a much larger project promoting the diversity of Australia’s first languages across our national radio network.
Fiona Reynolds, Director of ABC Regional

This is an ongoing project; recordings will continue to be made and aired well into the future. Community members are encouraged to visit their local radio station to arrange a time for making a recording. Alternatively, members can advise First Languages Australia when local events that gather together language speakers are being planned so that arrangements can be made for an ABC producer to attend and record station IDs.