- Talk to local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community members about what kind of relationships they would like to have with the Council and the role they see for language in that relationship.
- Use Gambay as a stimulus to link with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and talk about their connections to country and languages across Australia.
- Consider creative ways to allow people the opportunities to share their knowledge, stories and languages. For example, engaging language workers to visit the Council regularly, encouraging regional participation in national language activities such as Marrin Gamu (marringamu.com.au) and This Place (abc.net.au/thisplace), and displaying a languages map in a prominent place in the Council building where employees and community can see and engage with it.
Things to consider
- Do your own research and find out what you can about the local languages situation in your area.
- Find out about past policies and practices and how they have impacted on Aboriginal and Torres Strait peoples and their languages in the local area / region / state. Consider their ongoing impact.
- Language can be a sensitive issue for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, particularly for those who have been dispossessed of their country, their language and their families. Be aware of communicating in respectful ways.
- Give people time to think, reflect and discuss the ideas about language in terms of our complex shared histories. It may take many discussions before you come to a shared understanding about the language situation in your local area.
- Recognise and value the oral traditions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. These languages may not be written down but they hold a wealth of information about, and specific to, your region.
- It is important to recognise that payment for language services may be appropriate.