As part of the Associate Degree of Indigenous Languages and Linguistics and Bachelor of Indigenous Languages and Linguistics offered by CDU in partnership with Batchelor, we have developed a new unit called Language Centre Management which will be on offer from Semester 2, 2019.
Batchelor would appreciate it if language centres could review the unit outline and provide feedback. You may add your comments directly to the document.
We have received the below message from Halay Turning Heart of Yuchi Language Project in the US.
Halay has provided a draft application form which can be downloaded here, though the official Request for Proposals has not been published yet and the final application may be updated slightly.
Further details are summarised in the email below.
First languages Australia recommends using the term 'language' for all language varieties rather than attempting to capture the relationship of one language to another through use of a linguistic term.
Each of Australia's more than 700 languages has its own characteristics with which speakers of the language can distinguish their language/s from those of their neighbours. We recommend against using linguistic terms such as 'dialect' and 'creole' as they can inaccurately imply simplicity and lower status.
It is through language that we communicate with the world, define our identity, express our history and culture, learn, defend our human rights and participate in all aspects of society, to name but a few.
Through language, people preserve their community’s history, customs and traditions, memory, unique modes of thinking, meaning and expression. They also use it to construct their future. Language is pivotal in the areas of human rights protection, good governance, peace building, reconciliation, and sustainable development.
A person’s right to use his or her chosen language is a prerequisite for freedom of thought, opinion and expression, access to education and information, employment, building inclusive societies, and other values enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
To help improve the coverage of Indigenous languages and language activities, First Languages Australia is soon to publish “Notes to assist reporting on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Languages”.
The notes recommend that reporters find a language worker, or other relevant local Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander contact, to provide expert guidance and have a voice in any first language story being published.
For stories about a specific language or region, the notes recommend contacting a regional language centre or local program to find a suitable contact.
The draft notes can be downloaded here. We are asking language centres and programs to read through the draft and send us feedback by the end of March 2019.
Press release for International Mother Language Day–21 February 2019
First Languages Australia manager, Faith Baisden says, “Gambay highlights over 700 languages, many of which are grouped by colour to support the sharing of resources between related languages.”
“In collaboration with local community members extensive teachers’ notes have been compiled to encourage schools to teach about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages across curriculum areas.”
“Over the past few months, Gambay has undergone significant development to improve a range of functions...”
To help the media, and others, make direct contact with language workers, First Languages Australia is publishing a map of language programs.
We would also like to hear of any additional programs that would like to be added.
First Languages Australia will address an Interdepartmental Meeting in Canberra on the 12th December, to bring into focus the responsibilities of all strands of government to support languages within their portfolios. This meeting has been coordinated at the request of First Languages Australia, with the support of the Indigenous Languages and Arts Program team. It will include the presentation to the government of a range of key issues raised by language centres and network members at meetings over the past eighteen months.
The meeting will be an opportunity to build awareness of:
* the need for increased and committed ongoing federal funding for languages;
* the importance of legislation to protect the rights of first languages speakers;
* the responsibility and role that each Department has regarding Indigenous languages and their communities;
* the benefits (social, financial and cultural) that come with increased connection with first languages; and
* specific actions each Department can take to embed and support language as core to their work.
First Languages Australia has developed an interactive map to display and promote the diversity of Australia's Aboriginal languages and Torres Strait Islander languages. The map is called Gambay, which means 'together' in the Butchulla language of the Hervey Bay region in Queensland. Gambay is the first Australian map to allow Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities control over the way their languages are publicly represented.
The 'person' icons on map dots represent Language Legend clips. These short videos allow language workers and advocates to personally explain the importance of their language/s and demonstrate their passion and dedication to their revival or strength.
The videos are moving expressions of the diversity of Australia's languages, their present endangerment status, and the dreams and achievements of individuals. They provide an opportunity for the public to meet language workers from their regions and learn about the language activities they are involved in, as a bridge to cross-cultural understanding.
So far the map has a collection of over 250 clips, with limitless room for your stories.
You can help to build the collection by contributing short videos of your language legends following the instructions in the above video.
In the coming months, First Languages Australia will be working on a guide to help educate journalists on how to better report on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages and language issues. The guide will build on the comprehensive information in the Handbook for Reporting on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People and Issues released by Media Diversity Australia in July this year.
* reporting that has concerned you and the specific changes you would make to improve the reporting, and
* stories written by journalists that you feel demonstrate exceptional reporting on language activities and issues.
Members of First Languages Australia and the Queensland Indigenous Languages Advisory Committee (QILAC) presented to a meeting attended by nearly all departments in the Queensland Government to help shape the content of the Queensland Indigenous Languages Policy.
In July 2018, Annalee Pope and Carolyn Barker from First Languages Australia, together with Steven Bird from Charles Darwin University, visited the Mobile Language Team in Adelaide to look at the various tools they are using in their work with language groups across South Australia. The Mobile Language Team have many innovative activities underway, primarily focused on creating environments where community members can talk with each other in language. Of particular interest, were their processes of collaboratively creating learning materials to support weekly community classes held at great distances from each other.
Are you heading back to country over the summer holidays? Maybe that will be a good time to think about the stories you would like to contribute to this years special project with the ABC - This Place.
"Language is pivotal in the areas of human rights protection, good governance, peace building, reconciliation, and sustainable development...It is for these reasons and others that the United Nations chose to dedicate a whole year to indigenous languages, to encourage urgent action to preserve, revitalize and promote them." UNHCR
2019 will be a huge year for language centres and programs across Australia as the call is made for action from government, partners and our communities to see our languages taking their rightful place in the social, cultural and political structure of this country into the future. First Languages Australia is looking forward to coordinating a number of major activities and actions to coincide with the international events, with Manager Faith Baisden taking a role on the stakeholder group for the United Nations 2019
You can participate in the international movement by adding your local events and activities to the UNHCR event site.