YOUR WORK ON THE INTERNET PDF Print E-mail
The work from language centres around Australia can now be collated, stored and accessed on the Internet, and opens exciting opportunities for language communication. From David Nathan at the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies comes this report.

AIATSIS is playing a role in mobilising new technologies to help revive, maintain and strengthen Indigenous languages. Firstly, we have the world's largest collection of computer-based information about Australia's Indigenous Languages in ASEDA (the Aboriginal Studies Electronic Data Archive). ASEDA's function is to collect and look after the computer-based information for the long term, and also to supply it to communities and others.

Secondly, we provide advice to communities and educational bodies about the effective use of computers for the language work that they wish to undertake. We are particularly interested in helping to develop genericmaterials that can be locally adapted for use in language programs.

Thirdly, we are playing a leading role in electronic publishing - by publishing quality materials ourselves, and by encouraging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations to participate in the new Internet medium with a view to local publishing. The value of this new medium goes beyond languages. It can, for example, help co-ordinate activities from organising football carnivals through to preparing Native Title claims.

The Internet is a communication tool that fits well into people's need to communicate in different ways, both publicly and privately. Many Aboriginal people have been early adopters of communication technologies and there is now the opportunity through early participation, while the system is growing, to build in expectations about Indigenousparticipation and Indigenous knowledge.