By Andrew Bolt for the Herald Sun
HAWTHORN had what was meant to be an end-of-season happy story about recruit Amos Frank, an exciting forward from Central Australia.
As The Australian reported: "Some Hawks took it upon themselves to learn a few words of their new teammate's native tongue.
"It started with the Pitjantjatjara for 'run' and 'kick' to help Frank - who had little English when he arrived at Waverley Park as a rookie."
Lovely, but spot the shocking detail. It's what Patricia Edgar also ran into as a producer of the admired film Yolngu Boy when casting Arnhem Land schoolboys for the three main roles.
"Finding three young boys who could speak English was extremely difficult," she said.
"The lack of English skills relates to the system of bilingual education that applies to children in the Northern Territory."
That young men can grow up in this country without learning even basic English is a scandal.
What hope would there be for Frank had he wanted to be an engineer, soldier, teacher, miner or doctor?
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By Kiri Ten Dolle for The Satellite
INDIGENOUS members of the community have welcomed the Federal Government's recommendations to introduce bilingual education in schools to boost Aboriginal student attendance.
The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, chaired by Federal Member for Blair Shayne Neumann, last week hand down its report Our Land Our Languages: Language Learning in Indigenous Communities.
The report found only 18 of an estimated 250 Aboriginal languages were still spoken and were in danger of being wiped out in the next decade.
It recommended the need to urgently ensure their survival by teaching students whose first language was indigenous in their mother tongue, and an alternative NAPLAN method of testing.
But Mr Neumann took it a step further, calling for an Indigenous Language Learning Centre at Ipswich.
He said he would also like to see an indigenous language degree on offer at universities or TAFE in addition to other foreign language degrees.
"There are 136,000 people in the Blair electorate and 5300 are indigenous, according to the latest census," Mr Neumann said.
"At Riverview State School 25% of students are indigenous. Most Ipswich high schools have indigenous populations of 10 to 15%.
"This is a very significant report for at least one in 10 people in our district. If adopted by the government it will make a huge difference.
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