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Maintaining Indigenous languages: revering a distant past or contributing to a better future?

Comment by Bill Fogarty on Crickey's Language blog, Fully (sic).

Special guest Dr. Bill Fogarty argues that Indigenous language maintenance and education is not about reverence for some distant past for esoteric reasons. Rather it is an important asset that can play a role both in developing a future for Indigenous communities and in benefiting the socio-economic fabric of the Australian Nation.

Read the full post.

Aborigines may have to wait

By Michael Gordon, National Affairs Editor, The Age

A MAJOR concession by Julia Gillard appears unlikely to secure Opposition support for an ''Act of Recognition'' of the special place of Aboriginal culture and language as a first step towards acknowledging the first Australians in the constitution.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/aborigines-may-have-to-wait-20121030-28i5o.html#ixzz2BQhxC2Zv

National curriculum to highlight Aboriginal history

By Bianca Hall. Education and media correspondent for The Age.

ABORIGINAL histories and cultures, sustainability and Australia's engagement with the Asian region will be cornerstones of the new civics national curriculum for schools.

The draft national curriculum, released for public comment yesterday, is also based on the principle that students are part of a multicultural, secular society with a multi-faith population.

For the first time, all students would learn about the cultures, social and political processes, and laws of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/national/education/national-curriculum-to-highlight-aboriginal-history-20121030-28i5n.html#ixzz2BQjI512a

Young, Koori and prouder

By ABC Open Producer Colleen Hughson.

Over 40 indigenous secondary school age students had the chance to focus on their future dreams at the Koori Career and Aspirations Day held in Hamilton. ABC Open set up a DreamBox photo-booth to capture some of their dreams. They can be viewed in the DreamBox online photo gallery.

Richard Frankland, Aboriginal Elder, Uncle, author, playwright, filmmaker and musician and world renowned expert on lateral violence was amongst those who had their photo taken. His dream is to sing in his own language.

Read the full post.

What a great time to be a teacher!

An Article by Bruce Pascoe for the Eastern States Aboriginal Languages Group.

Here’s the perfect opportunity to positively affect the education of the country and bring black and white Australians towards an understanding of each other. Federal Parliament's standing committee on indigenous affairs has released a bipartisan report calling for more action to protect endangered indigenous languages, and recommending bilingual education.

At the same time new state and federal teaching curriculum models are being formulated which include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages and culture. Our educators will be responsible for the presentation of these topics to our children, not only for Aboriginal communities who already speak their language but also in communities where language is no longer spoken. This will be the best history lesson ever taught.

Read more: What a great time to be a teacher!

Anderson calls for schools to be made equal

Indigenous Advancement Minister Alison Anderson says Aboriginal languages should not be taught at remote Northern Territory schools.

She says Indigenous schools should have the same learning requirements as those in capital cities.

Ms Anderson has told told the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly that Indigenous languages should be taught by parents during holidays and on weekends. Read the full article.

Teachers to help keep Indigenous language alive

Two Western Australian wheatbelt towns will now have access to Aboriginal language classes as the newest crop of teachers enter the regions.

Mary Brogan was one of seven teachers to graduate on Friday and will now teach the Noongar language at Beverley District High School.

Northam will also benefit from a new Aboriginal language teacher, as part of the Department of Education's Aboriginal language training course. Read the full ABC article

Solar eclipse festival fever hits Ramingining

By ABC Open Producer Will Tinapple

They are right in the middle of the eclipse viewing zone in Ramingining and right in the middle of preparations for an exciting eclipse festival.

I've always been struck by the generous nature of Yolngu people out in Arnhemland. It never ceases to amaze me how keen so many people are to share their culture, welcome visitors and show them around.

Thornbury school to trial Aboriginal language program - Education - News - Northcote Leader

 

THORNBURY Primary School students are helping revive Aboriginal language in a program set to be rolled out across the state.

Thornbury is the first primary school in Victoria to put an Aboriginal language on the curriculum, with others expected to follow next year.

Principal Karen Mazurek said prep to grade 2 students were learning Woiwurrung, the language once spoken by the Wurundjeri people, Melbourne's traditional land owners.

Thornbury school to trial Aboriginal language program - Education - News - Northcote Leader.

Slip of the tongues: language and the unintended consequences of Indigenous policy

Nicholas Biddle for In Conversation.

Indigenous communities are devastated when languages are lost.

This was the conclusion of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs last month. The committee members also found that Indigenous language plays a crucial role in people’s relationships with family, country, kin and culture.

This fits with analysis I recently co-authored showing Indigenous Australians who were learning an Indigenous language were significantly more likely to report that they were happy all or most of the time in the previous four weeks compared to those who were not.

Read the full article.

Urgent funding needed to save our languages, warns Wyles-Whelan

The Chair of an Aboriginal language group in north Queensland has warned urgent funding is needed before 80 per cent of Indigenous languages spoken in the far north Queensland region are lost. The North Queensland Regional Aboriginal Language Corporation (NQRALC) Chair, Troy Wyles-Whelan issued the warning to the standing committee for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs…

Read the full National Indigenous Times article.

Congress welcomes recommendations as a way forward to save Indigenous languages

The recommendations from a Parliamentary Committee inquiry reinforce the National Congress of Australia's First Peoples' priority to address the crisis in protecting and maintaining Aboriginal languages, Co-Chair Jody Broun has said. Ms Broun congratulated the committee on their report, "Our Land Our Languages" saying almost every point in the Congress submission was addressed.

Read the full National Indigenous Times article.

SA teacher revives Kaurna language

A school teacher and a linguist in Adelaide have teamed up to resurrect an Aboriginal language once thought to be 'extinct'.

The last fluent speaker of Kaurna language died in the 1900s, but now there's more than 100 people, including non-Indigenous Australians, in the process of learning it.

Teacher Jack Buckskin and linguist Dr Robert Amery reintroduced Kaurna to the locals, and many are picking it up quite well.

Read the full article.

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  • 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
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