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Festival of Pacific Arts, 2016

GUAM FESTIVAL

 Report by Annalee Pope

The Festival of the Pacific Arts is held every four years and brings together artists and cultural practitioners from the 27 Pacific Islands nations and territories. This year the 12th Pacific Arts Festival took place in Guam, USA. The theme for this year's Festival is;

"Håfa Iyo-ta, Håfa Guinahå-ta, Håfa Ta Påtte, Dinanña' Sunidu Siha Giya Pasifiku"
"What We Own, What We Have, What We Share, United Voices of the Pacific"

During the festival, an Indigenous Languages Conference was held at the University of Guam on the 27th and 28th of May. This inaugural conference provided an opportunity for all indigenous people to discuss the preservation, revival and maintenance of their indigenous languages.

Read more: Festival of Pacific Arts, 2016

Marrin Gamu on BtN Newsbreak, ABC3

Marrin Gamu on BtN Newsbreak ABC3

This video is an excerpt from ABC3's BtN Newsbreak, 23rd May 2016.

A big thank you to Natasha, Sarah and the BtN Newsbreak team for showcasing the project. You can watch watch the full episode here.

Or today's episode here.

 

Marrin Gamu Competition with ABC Splash

MarrinGamu

First Languages Australia has partnered with ABC Splash in a Marrin Gamu competition. The competition is a fantastic opportunity to build a relationship with your local Indigenous community. Find out how!

First Languages Australia has developed Marrin Gamu, a song for Primary school children and teachers, to promote the diversity and beauty of Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages.


The Marrin Gamu song is designed for translation into local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages across Australia.


Australia has hundreds of first languages, and to celebrate National Reconciliation Week (27 May and 3 June), ABC Splash is collaborating with First Languages Australia to see Marrin Gamu sung in as many of these languages as possible.


We're inviting students and teachers to learn the English words to this short song and engage with their local Indigenous community to translate them into the first language of their area.


Once students have mastered a local version of the song, make a recording, then share and upload the video to the Splash competition page.


All entries will go in the running to receive the major prize: a visit from a professional video production team to film the students performing the song!


This competition will run until 10 August 2016, so that all schools have time to develop the necessary relationships and participate in the project.


Visit the Marrin Gamu website for an example to help get you started. There's also a range of curriculum-linked classroom activities developed around the project.

 

First Languages Australia join the United Nations International Expert Group Meeting on Indigenous Languages

First Languages Australia was invited by the United Nations Secretariat of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues to participate in an expert group meeting at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, January 2016.

Representatives of First Languages Australia Paul Paton and Daryn McKenny travelled New York to take part. 

The meeting Indigenous Languages: preservation and revitalization (articles 13, 14 and 16 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples) was undertaken to build upon recommendations from the previous expert group meeting in 2008, focusing on the principles of cultural diversity and indigenous languages as a way to promote intercultural dialogue and affirm indigenous peoples identity.

Paul and Daryn had the opportunity to speak at the meeting about the state of language revival in Australia and demonstrate projects and initiatives which are making positive inroads into language revival and cultural strengthening.

To read more about the meeting click here

To find out more about the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues visit their websitefacebook or twitter page

 

P Paton and D McKenny UN Meeting

Daryn McKenny and Paul Paton. "When we started to get our language back, we got our power back" Daryn. Photo courtesy UN.

Share your songs for International Mother Language Day

February 21st is International Mother Language Day. To celebrate, next week we are asking everyone to share a song in an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander language on their Facebook page.

The campaign is being spearheaded by the Parkes Wiradjuri Language Team who were ambassadors for International Mother Languages Day last year, and have gone on to record their own song, Badu Ngahdi Mudyigaang Guwany: I am My Elders Blood, to be launched for the event this year. The song was written by Geoff Anderson, Lionel Lovett and the Parkes Wiradjuri Language group and is sung by Lionel Lovett and Tiyana Towney. Click here to listen to Badu Ngahdi Mudyigaang Guwany, and here to read a story about the production process.

Parkes Wiradjuri Language group photo for 2015 Post Copy

Members of the 'I am My Elders Blood' production team

There may be a song in your language that is available for sharing, or you might like to record one. It could be an existing song, a translation of part of your favourite song, or something you have written. Even just a few lines is fine.

ABC Open has some tips on recording on your smart phone that people looking to record themselves or their families singing may find useful, for example:
* Filming with your smart phone
* Editing video on your mobile
* Recording audio on your smart phone

How to share with us:
Once you have a copy of the song. Upload it to your personal Facebook account, 'like' our Facebook page, and then 'tag' First Languages Australia @firstlangaugesaustralia and tell us about the song, or post the link on our Facebook page.

We are looking forward to a song filled week celebrating our languages.

 

Seizure: Paid literary translation opportunity

Seizure is an online literary magazine that publishes creative writing by emerging Australian writers.

They have an upcoming edition focused on translations and have contacted First Languages Australia to help spread the word among Indigenous translators. You can translate someone else's creative writing into English, or you can translate your own. The piece of creative writing will be published both in the original language and the English translation.

Click here for more information.

 

Seizure

You can also tweet in your #MotherLanguage

This Sunday once again there will be a world wide Twitter campaign in celebration of UNESCO’s International Mother Language Day 2016.

People all around the world will be tweeting in their mother language to raise awareness of their languages. You can join the celebrations by tweeting in your language on February 21.

Participants will use the hashtag #MotherLanguage, along with the hashtag of their language (for example: #Yawuru #Adnyamathanha #Gunggari ).

Last year there were 111 Australian languages represented. So share this message with your Twitter followers and get tweeting this Sunday.

Further information on how to get involved is available on the campaign website.

Tag us @FirstLangAU if you would like us to retweet.

TweetInYourMotherLanguage

Noongar Boodjar Language Centre Opening

First Languages Australia would like to congratulate all the people who have worked tirelessly over the past ten years toward the opening of the Noongar Boodjar Language Cultural Aboriginal Corporation.

In the words of the Language Centre's Chairperson, George Hayden:
The opening of the Noongar Boodjar Language Centre is a tremendous step forward for the preservation and use of Noongar language. The centre has been established to ensure that all Noongar people have a place where the language is preserved and studied, where Noongar books are made, Noongar language classes held, stories recorded and resources made available for families.

Here are some photos of the opening celebrations.

George Hayden     message stick

Chairperson George Hayden addresses              The message stick created by Karim Khan

the audience at the opening                              for the opening of the NBLC                 

 

Young champions at Puliima 2015

Young Champions 2015It was a pleasure to be able to invite nine of our younger language champions to Puliima 2015. Each of the Young Champions gave an engaging presentation on the work they are doing in their communities. They also attended numerious Puliima sessions and participated in breakout work facilitated by Yugambeh woman, and Cadets Manager for the PCYC, Sally Baisden.

This year the nominated young champions travelled from Maningrida, Ngukurr, Parkes, Harvey Bay, Adelaide and Townsville.

The young champions each expressed their delight at being able to attend the forum and learning from the diverse language activities happening around the country.  

Facilitator Sally Baisden has been working in youth development for over a decade. Sally reported that the opportunity to work with the group of dynamic and powerful Young Champions was very fulfilling.

"The forum was invaluable in strengthening our understanding of the immense body of work that is being conducted across the country in the realm of Indigenous languages and culture," Sally said.

Young Champions, 2015:
Jason O’Neil - Wiradjuri
Abigail Carter - Burarra
Annalee Pope - Waka Waka
Meyalah Blackman - Gurang/Toolooa/Nywaigi
Corey Theatre - Gunditj-Marra/Kurnai/Djap Warrung
Angelina Joshua - Marra
Alwyn Ross - Butchulla
Bruce Waia - Butchulla/Gubbi Gubbi
Maritza Roberts - Marra

Language revival a healthy path to indigenous survival

A story by Rick Morton for The Australian

The community at La Perouse, with the help of the NSW government, has built a resource of words and phrases in the Dharawal language.
Community members have been trained in Certificate I and II courses and a K-6 syllabus is being developed. 

Children are greeted with “Naggangbi” — “how are you?” — and farewelled with “Nandawabi” — “see you in the future” — each day.

“Sydney is in the Western world and for our community’s survival we have to engage,” Mr Ingrey said.

“But why not have both our worlds side-by-side?”

General manager of the Gujaga Children’s Service in La Perouse Shannon Williams said language loss fed into other social traumas; poor education, isolation, suicide.

In one Canadian study of indigenous people, researchers ­observed a direct link between speaking their native tongue and reduction in suicide rates among their youth.

In British Columbia, those who reported less than half of a cohort with conversational knowledge of their language had suicide rates six times higher than those where a majority had language skills.

Read the full article here.

 

UN Declaration of Human Rights translated into Pintupi-Luritja

A story By Hannah Walmsley with Alex Sloan for the ABC.

Over the past few years Pintupi-Luritja people have been working to translate the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights into their languages.

Pintupi-Luritja is said to be the first language of about 2000 people in Central Australia, and the second language of many more people.

The United Nations Declaration of Human Rights is the world's most translated document, having been translated into more than 460 languages since it was first adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1948.


This is the first time it has been translated in to an Indigenous Australian language.

You can download the translation here: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/UDHR/Pages/Language.aspx?LangID=piu
Or download the English version here: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/UDHR/Pages/Language.aspx?LangID=eng

Read the full article at here

Warra: Building teams, building resources

WarraTogether with language centres around the country First Languages Australia has produced Warra: Building teams, building resources. Warra has been designed to save time and effort for everyone involved in language resource production by summarising key things that need to be considered when planning to make language resources.

Warra takes a broad view of what resources are. It includes project examples such as the production of children’s books, traditional stories, music CDs, videos and DVDs, websites, classroom materials, radio programs and blogs.

The project has seen very high level of participation and contribution from language centres and projects around the country. Participating project 
teams have shared their knowledge through this process in order to save 
others having to learn the hard way. Without these contributions Warra would not be the useful resource it is.

There will always be unique challenges to overcome with any project, but hopefully Warra will make your work a little easier.

First Languages Australia hopes that Warra will encourage strong, productive teamwork and help you to feel confident and enjoy the process of creating resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages.


Download Warra here.

'Warra' is a noun for ‘talk’ that also means ‘language’, ‘speech’, the act of talking, ‘voice’, ‘throat’ and ‘word’, in the Kaurna language of the Adelaide Plains. The rr in warra is a rolled r-sound. The a-sound in warra is pronounced as in Maori haka. The title Warra has been contributed by Kaurna Warra Pintyanthi and is shared by related languages, including Nukunu and Narungga.

Gambay - Australian First Languages Map

First Languages Australia has been working with regional language centres nationally to develop an interactive map of Australian languages that reflects the names and groupings favoured by community.

Language workers from around the country are reviewing the data in their regions and contributing profiles that explain why their languages are so important to them.

Gambay includes teachers notes and curriculum links P-12 so is also a great resource for parents, teachers and students.

Check it out:
gambay.com.au

Gambay means “together” in the Butchulla language of the Harvey Bay region in Queensland. Gambay is pronounced Gam-bay. Gam is is pronounced as in ‘gamin', and bay as in the English. This title has been provided by Joy Bonner.

Gambay

Australia's Got Language (documentary)

AGLCoverThe Australia’s Got Language Talent Content was an entertaining parody inspired by talent programs such as X Factor, Australia’s Got Talent, Red Faces and Australian Idol – showcasing Deadly Aboriginal Australian talents performing in their Aboriginal Languages.

The Australia's Got Language Talent Contest is part of the Puliima National Indigenous Language Forum, a biennial event hosted by Miromaa Aboriginal Language and Technology Centre. PUliima brings people together from all over Australia pioneering project ideas from community based Indigenous language projects all sharing a common ambition of preserving and celebrating the languages of our country.

The charasmatic and entertaining judges for the night were Leonard Miller from Far West Language Centre, Geoff Anderson from Parkes Wiradjuri Language Group, Vicki Couzens from Victorian Aboriginal Corporation for Languages and Karina Lester from the South Australian Mobile Language Team. Audience participation was loud and proud and extremely encouraged.

Filmed by First Languages Australia on location in a relaxed cocktail dinner setting, on the night of August the 28th 2013, Australia’s Got Language documentry is a low budget high entertainment program, celebrating and showcasing the depth and diversity of Aboriginal Language and Culture across Australia.

Watch the 14minute film.

Film Credits

Produced by
First Languages Australia and
Miromaa Aboriginal Language & Technology Centre

Host/Concept
Daryn McKenny - Gamilaraay

Director/Producer
Faith Baisden

Judges
Geoff Anderson – Wiradjuri
Leonard Miller – Wirangu
Karina Lester – Pitjantjatjara/Yankunytjatjara
Vicki Couzens – Keeraywoorroong

Participants
Andy Luckaman Peters and David Wilfred – Wagilak
Jacqueline Allen – Wonnaruah
Michelle Jacquelin-Furr and Brooke Joy - Boandik
Iteka and Temana Bromley - Adnyamathanha
Joy Bonner, Karina Barney, Alwyn Doolan and Ashleigh Clarke – Butchulla
Dianne Appleby, Rebecca Youdale and Virgina Albert - Yawuru
Fay Stewart Muir - Boonwurrung
Lynnette Solomon-Dent – Monaro/Ngarigo
Corey Theatre –Gunditjmara/Gunnai
Leonora Adidi - Kalaw Kawaw Ya
Melinda Holden and Bridget Priman - Warrgamay
Faith Baisden – Yugambeh

Production Manager
Carolyn Barker

Camera/Sound
Elizabeth Warning

Editor
Leah Donovan

Sound Editor
Tfer Newsome

Funded by
First Languages Australia
Indigenous Languages Support Program, Australian Government, Attorney-General's Department, Ministry for the Arts

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. Australian languages are treasures of international significance. They are a bridge to rich and important information. When a language is lost a deep body of knowledge is lost with it.

Language is also key to Indigenous well-being in Australia. Australia will be a much better place when Indigenous language communities are strong and healthy and have the power to control their own destiny.

Language bridges the dark space between tangible and intangible cultural heritage. It is most tangible at the intersection between things. It is an interface for a people to connect with the world around them, with other people within their own language community, and with people from other language communities.

Language is also undeniably an interface within community, within an individual, and within a culture.

In the late 18th century, there were between 350 and 750 distinct Australian social groupings, and a similar number of languages. At the start of the 21st century, fewer than 150 indigenous languages remain in daily use, and all except roughly 20 are highly endangered. Of those that endure, only 10% are being learned by children and those languages are usually located in the most isolated areas.

The good news is many language groups are working to preserve their languages and languages are quietly and persistently being restored to use. Our languages live on.

Together with hundreds of people and organisations around the country. First Languages Australia is working to make sure these treasures are not lost and that they continue to live on strong and vibrany. We invite you to join us on this exciting journey.

For more information on Australian languages and local language programs refer to: http://ourlanguages.org.au/

 

Contact us

Phone  +61 2 4940 9144  or  1300 975 246
 
Visit  Level 1/840 Hunter St, Newcastle West
Post PO Box 528, Newcastle, NSW, 2300

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
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