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Sounds of then: This is Australia

A radio program by Michael Vincent, for ABC AM.

Just as important manuscripts, paintings and other items of Australian culture are collected and promoted, so too the audio or sounds of this nation. Today 10 very different recordings will be added to the National Registry of Recorded Sound bringing the total to 64 items. They include music as diverse as AC/DC and Jimmy Little as well as historic radio dramas and over a thousand hours of Indigenous languages.

Listen to the program (4 mins approx)

Assembly adopts languages bill

Cape Town - The use of official languages bill will make a massive contribution towards promoting multilingualism, Arts and Culture Minister Paul Mashatile said on Tuesday.

Speaking in the National Assembly during debate on the bill, he said it was aimed at ensuring that the government elevated the status of especially indigenous languages and promoted their widespread use.

Assembly adopts languages bill.

New literacy systems shine

By KATE MCILWAIN, Illawarra Mercury.

Aboriginal language lessons and a new discipline system have helped kids at Kemblawarra Public School shine amid the otherwise dire state of indigenous literacy in NSW.

At Kemblawarra, Aboriginal students’ NAPLAN test results rose from below average in 2009 to well above those of students in statistically similar schools in 2011.

Principal Eleanor Thompson said this had been due to personalised and regularly updated learning plans developed with children and parents, a specialist Aboriginal education officer and a Wadi Wadi indigenous language class offered to all students from preschool to year 6.

Read the full article.

Far west helps spread indigenous language

By Margaret Paul, ABC Broken Hill

An indigenous language teacher from far west New South Wales says she is looking forward to sharing language skills with people in northern Victoria.

The Paakantyi language circle is holding a workshop at the Two Rivers College in Mildura today.

Kayleen Kerwin is from Menindee and she says it is great to get down and visit Paakantyi people from further south.

Read the full story

“I’m a Queenslander too!”

“I’m a Queenslander too!”  said Mr. Michael Bryce AM AE as he stepped up for a photo with the QILAC members who attended a reception at Government House in Canberra.  

The event, held during NAIDOC week was to honour Indigenous languages and the Elders who have worked to keep them alive over the past 30 years.

Read more: “I’m a Queenslander too!”

Can threatened Pacific languages learn from Scots Gaelic

Maori and Pacific vernacular languages in New Zealand are under threat from English, but can they learn how to survive and even grow from the example of the Scots Gaelic language?Recently on Pacific Beat, Professor Paul Moon, an historian at the Auckland University of Technology, said that making Maori language learning compulsory for New Zealand school students would not work, as young people don't like being told what to do.

Read or listen to the full program on Radio Australia

Dictionary to revive Aboriginal Language

An ABC article by Jessica Tapp

A dictionary of the traditional Yaygirr language is to be launched at Maclean this week

North coast Aboriginal elders are hoping a dictionary and grammar guide will help revitalise a traditional language.

More than six years of research went into producing the Yaygirr dictionary, which has around 1000 words, maps and a description of the way the language works.

The Muurrbay Aboriginal Language Centre has been working with Yaegl elders from the lower Clarence to write the book.

The centre's Anna Ash said there was some debate about aspects of the language.

Read the full article: Dictionary to revive Aboriginal language - ABC North Coast NSW - Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Strengthening Mowanjum Community Languages

Story and image supplied by Maree Klesch

Mowanjum Community is working in partnership with Batchelor Press the specialty in-house publishing division of Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education to revive their languages and strengthen their culture and languages for future generations.

There are three language groups living at Mowanjum Community (15km south of Derby). Worrorra, Ngarinyin and...

Read the National Indigenous Times article.

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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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