Kickstart for Victorian projects PDF Print E-mail

from Sandra Snug

The Victorian Aboriginal Corporation for Languages are at last forging ahead with their aim of retrieval, recording and restoration of our indigenous languages.

This, we may add, has not been without many setbacks, frustration and sheer disappointment at the hurdles which have been placed in front of us. Following the Easter break, Robyn Bradley commenced administrative duties for the Corporation.

Robyn has undertaken to follow up all community organisations in Victoria, introducing herself and the work of the Language Corporation.

A state conference was held on 29 - 31 July at Camp Jungai in Thornton. This was a challenge for Robyn, being the first she had arranged.

It was also a challenge for the Corporation as we attempted to bring together all those who desire to work toward the restoration of their languages.

The conference was followed by the Annual General Meeting where we were able to recruit more members.

We now have an established workplace as the agreement with the Museum of Victoria has been formally endorsed by the Council of the Museum. Furniture and equipment have been purchased and a resource library started.

In the near future we will be employing a Language Research Officer. This officer will be responsible for researching archives for language and the recording of such on the data base.

There are many headaches in deciding which data base is the most suitable for the Corporation and the community language centres in Victoria.

A language areas report and map for Victoria has now been completed. A project for the production of a poster has been endorsed and should be completed by the end of October.

The Needs Analysis project is finished and the draft report has been distributed to the communities for comment.

Finally, the Corporation can report that we are striving ahead with our task of the retrieval of our languages in Victoria.

Nalwarri Ngurruwutthun
Nalwarri Ngurruwutthun
Yirrkala C.E.C. provides support services to 8 Homeland schools in the region. Teachers from Yirrkala fly to the outlying schools to assist with curriculum review and run workshops.

Nalwarri Ngurruwuthhun is also chairperson of the Miwatja Language Management, East Arnhem Region. As well as Yirrkala, this involves eight other language centres, working in areas such as oral history collection, family trees and the recording of bush food and medicines.

Run three or four times each year since 1989, the Galtha workshops involve Yolgnu elders taking children through studies of their culture and language. Areas covered could include history, art, dance, hunting, kinship and tribal law as well as numerous other topics vital to the continued preservation of the culture.

The Garma Maths program is unique in combining Yolgnu concepts of mathematical understanding with the non- aboriginal approach to the subject.