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ABC Education and First Languages Australia have selected a record six winners for the 2019 Indigenous Language Song Competition.

 In this the International Year of Indigenous Languages, the competition entries were very strong with the judges deciding to award all contributors as well as highlighting six exceptional entries.

bold park still
Bold Park Community School students performing Marrin Gamu in Noongar.

Now in its fourth year, the competition sees primary and secondary schools from around the country working alongside their local Indigenous community to translate and perform the Marrin Gamu song into the first language of their area.

The winning schools are:

  • Sadadeen Primary School
  • Elanora State School
  • Yuille Park P-8 Community College
  • Melaleuca Park Primary School
  • Bold Park Community School
  • Boronia Park Public School

The musical initiative encourages schools to build a relationship with their local Indigenous community and be led by them in sharing the first languages of their region.

First Languages Australia manager, Faith Baisden explained, “It is a joy to go through the new entries for Marrin Gamu and this year's is a fresh and exciting collection. The level of enthusiasm shown by the students, their language teachers, class and music teachers is

wonderful. We congratulate the winners but also want to let every school that entered know that they could very easily have been the winner. It was that close.”

The 2019 entries build on previous years, seeing almost 100 schools participate nationally contributing videos in sixty languages. More than 3,000 students have participated to date. Each of the contributions can be viewed on the Marrin Gamu website, http://marringamu.com.au/videos/

Ms Baisden said, “We know from feedback from other years that this is a powerful learning tool. The language words stay with the students, because of the fact that they are learned in a song, and the process of working on Marrin Gamu with the local community language teacher means that the cultural significance of the language is also respectfully taught. Our thanks again to the ABC for hosting and promoting all of the entries and the competition itself.”

Annabel Astbury, Head of Education at the ABC, was once again delighted by the wide- reaching entries from the competition. “We continue to be inspired by the level of excitement among students and teachers alike to learn, celebrate and help share the languages of their regions. We’re so proud work with First Languages Australia to run this important competition.”

The winning schools can choose between an Indigenous language resource pack tailored to them or video equipment of equal value. And this year all schools will receive a certificate and set of clap sticks for their entries.

The 2019 entries can be viewed here:

http://education.abc.net.au/home#!/competition/3105160/indigenous-language-song- competition-2019

Marrin Gamu project website: http://marringamu.com.au

Previous media: Kids are keeping Aboriginal languages alive — and learning just how different they are – http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-07-06/school-children-singing- could-save-indigenous-language/9940118

Available for interview and further comment:

Annalee Pope | First Languages Australia, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Annabel Astbury | Head of ABC Education, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Faith Baisden | First Languages Australia, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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