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Members of Ngukulmungatt Kangka Leman
Members of Ngukulmungatt Kangka Leman
From Anna Ash Language Projects Steering Committee Ngakulmungan Kangka Leman means "Our Language" in the Lardil language of Gununa, Mornington Island. It is the name of the steering committee which was established in 1995 to oversee language projects on this island in the Carpentaria Members of Ngak Kangka Leman m e regularly to ensure that language revitalisation activities reflect the needs and desires of local Aboriginal people.

Photo: Bottom row (L to R): Clara Reid, Thelma Burke, bath Johnston, Fanny Lanley. Centre row (L to R): Teddy Moon, Margaret Hills, Ellen Richards, Douglas Burke. Top row (L to R): Cecil Goodman, Roxanne Thomas, Kenneth Jacob (Snr.)

At the moment projects are focused on Lardil, the original language of Mornington Island, but there is also the need to work with Kayardild (from Bentinck Island) and Yangkaal (from nearby Denham and Forsyth Islands) as representatives from these language groups also live on Mornington.

Language revitalisation activity can be seen in the language and culture program run by the Mornington Island State School, which employs an indigenous language coordinator and elders to run Lardil classes.

On-going issues are the provision of stimulating teaching resources and the demands placed on Lardil language experts. Many projects are utilising the Lardil language, for example : Muyinda Arts and Crafts Centre; Woomera Aboriginal Corporation, who take Mornington Island dancers and song men on tour throughout Australia and the world; the local newsletter; a T-shirt screen printing enterprise; research of elders; community rangers and anthropologists into story places and sacred sites; and the provision of signs in the Lardil language by Mornington Shire Council.

This year will see the publication of the Lardil Dictionary which is in rough draft form at the moment. The Dictionary Project includes finalising the spelling system, checking existing entries, and adding information, map and illustrations.

The Dictionary Project involves Ngakulmungan Kangka Leman, and other elders working with Dr. David McKnight (Anthropologist) and Dr. Ken Hale, Dr. David Nash, Norvin Richards and Anna Ash (Linguists). The project is partially funded by Mornington Shire Council and Mornington Island State School. The members of Ngakulmungan Kangka Leman aim to assist these worthwhile language revitalisation activities by providing advice on language matters and community needs.

Contact person is Anna Ash (linguist)
Phone 077 457200,
Fax 077 457275,
C/-Mornington Shire Council,
Gununa, Mornington Island,
Qld. 4871.