The role of language centres PDF Print E-mail

There are numerous language centres in Australia.3

These language centres are in the unique position of being driven by and directly answerable to the communities for which they do their work. The work of each language centre is determined by the decisions of its committee. The committee is comprised of representatives of language groups in the region. Through the committee, there is community control of language projects. Ideas for projects, whether suggested by communities themselves or by researchers, go through the committee. In this way, the committee is in a position where it is aware of, and informed about, all of the language work that is happening in the region serviced by its language centre.

Language centres employ staff to facilitate linguistic work in the region. Staff members are directed by the committee. The resources produced by staff and communities are for the use of the community from which they come.

Not every part of Australia has a formal language centre, nor is all language work undertaken only through such organisations. Yet, in many regions, language work is still very active. Often, where a language committee has been established, it may be found working out of a local community organisation, or simply out of someone’s living room. Even where there is not currently enough funds for a formal language centre, the language work being done is still vital and the language committee still an important reality, keeping  track of various language projects in the region.

3For contact details of language centres and an outline of the projects they are each involved in, see the FATSILC National Indigenous Languages contacts directory at http://www.fatsilc.org.au/contact-us