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VOTL 10 | Language, Aboriginal, Territory, Indigenous, Australia, Education, Northern, Fatsil | FATSILC, Fed. Aboriginal Torres Strait Island Languages and Culture
 
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VOTL Volume 10-19 Archive
Voice of the Land - Volume 10

Our Languages Are the Voice of the Land

The FATSIL NEWSLETTER APRIL 1999
ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER CORPORATION OF LANGUAGES
VOLUME 10

N.T. schools fight to keep bilingual programs

Moves by the Northern Territory' Government to withdraw funding for Bilingual education programs in the Territory have met with an angry response from educational and community groups around Australia.

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Faith
Faith Baisden
 
There's plenty of conference talk in this issue, with the big meetings In Alice Springs and Darwin last year giving: everyone the chance to get together and nut out some firm directions.

One of the resolutions to come out of the review process, was the plan to have State run language meetings held on a two yearly basis, where funds and coordinating programs ans allow . The benefits of more frequent meeting for people involved in language work go further than the obvious points relating to formal information sharing.

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FATSIL
FATSIL
Further action will be discussed at the FATSIL Governing Committee Meeting in Canberra (April 16-19), when comment from Northern Territory delegates and language centre representatives will be used to prepare a response to the Minister's planned implementation of these changes.

The Governing Committee of FATSIL has addressed a number of proposals which aim to strengthen the position of the organisation as peak body for indigenous languages in Australia.

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1998 will be remembered by me as a year of consolidation for FATSIL. As an all Aboriginal organisation, it successfully sought to be heard, and recognised as a peak body representing the best interests of our people and Aboriginal languages in Australia.

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Francis Edney and Lester Coyne
Francis Edney and Lester Coyne
Francis Edney's family had searched for many years for her grandfather's sisters, taken from the family as children. Lester Coyne's mother could tell her family only little about the relations she had lost when she was removed from her home as a child. A chance conversation at the Alice Springs Conference, led Francis and Lester to discover that they are from the lost families that each has searched for all these years. Lester's mother was one of the Aunties that Francis had heard of, but nearly lost hope of tracing. It was a joyful reunion for both, with the prospect of family get-together and a treasure of lost history to be recovered.
 
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LOTM
Irene Ryder
Gunggari

Gunggari is the language spoken in an area of Western Queensland taking in the Maranoa, Warrego. Condamine and Balonne regions.

In the Mitchell area, 80 kms west of Roma, children in the local schools are well used to lessons on Gunggari language and culture. However these are set to become even more fun, with the development of a range of board games that will give the young students plenty of opportunity to use their language, while at the same time testing their luck with the dice. Take a chance when the wandhi (dingo) comes into the camp and advance to the next turn, or lose two goes by stumbling on a bumbara (snake).

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5
Doug Abbott
Doug Abbott is someone who truly values the importance of being taught first in your own language.

As it was, his earliest experience of formal learning was in the most difficult circumstances you could imagine, and for many years left him feeling robbed of confidence and a true sense of identity.

The early setbacks slowed him down, but haven't stopped Doug from going on to become one of a team of dedicated language and culture teachers in the Northern Territory.

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Language Access Initiatives Program

For all those who made submissions for funds under the new Language Access Initiatives Program, it is likely to be several months before any final decision on the distribution of funds is made.

All submissions should have been with ATSIC Regional Offices by 12 February 1999. At the moment, ATSIC Regional Officers are assessing submissions and Regional Councils will also be making comment on them. After this process has been completed, all the submissions and regional comments will be sent to ATSIC in Canberra, and a national committee will make the final decision on the allocation of funds.

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Office bearers for FATSIL were elected at the A.G.M. in Darwin.

The results were

Chairperson: Lester Coyne. (Western Australia.)

Vice Chairperson: Denise Karpany. (South Australia.)

Treasurer: Jill Gallagher. (Victoria.)

Honorary Secretary: Eve Fesl. ( Queensland.)

Ysola Best appointed as public officer.

 
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Talk About Talk
Talk About Talk
Faces from the National Indigenous Languages Conference at Alice Springs -5eptember '98 and the FATSIL Annual General Meeting in Darwin, November '98
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7
Archie Roach visits our display stall at the Pacific Rim Youth Conference.
Concluding a look at projects underway in North Queensland - with Alberta Hornsby.

The Cape York and Gulf Indigenous Languages program was formed in 1994, and at that time the first priority was to set up an administration, and to establish a network which would canvas the language needs of this region. This is known as Region 4, taking in Wujal Wujal in the South, north to Cape York and West to Doomadgee.

There are an estimated 57 Indigenous languages of this region, and approximately 13,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living here.

The membership of the Cape York and Gulf Indigenous Languages Program is made up of interested community members, and language workers within our region.

We have been sponsored by the Guugu Yimithirr Warra Aboriginal Corporation at Hope Vale for the past 4 years, and an administration centre has been newly established in Cooktown. Having a separate administration centre from the sponsoring body, enables us to fulfil our obligations better and give more support to community projects.

 

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Mark Thomsan and his teacher
Mark Thomsan and his teacher
Last year we reported on the terrific opportunity available to Mark Thomson from Healesville, as he was in the running for a Victorian Premier's VCE (Victorian Certificate of Education) award for his achievements in LOTE - Australian Indigenous Languages.

And here's the happy follow up, with Mark and his teacher, a proud as punch Aretha Briggs, displaying the engraved gold medallion given to Mark as one of the State winners.

Mark studied Yorta Yorta and Northern Territory Gupungpungya at Worawa Aboriginal College.

 
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This is an urgent request to all of you who love language, value it as a national treasure, and would like to see the preservation of our indigenous languages. The Northern Territory Education Department is proposing to phase out bilingual education in Northern Territory schools, contrary to the wishes of many Aboriginal communities which have bilingual programmes. (For the NT Department of Education Statement, and copies of the Minister's press release, see http://www.ntde.nt.gov.au/announce )

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Remote Area teacher trainees graduate.
Remote Area teacher trainees graduate.
Thirty Aboriginal and 1 Torres Strait Islander students graduated last year from the Remote Area Teacher Education Program (RATEP). They completed the two year off-campus course from their home sites of Aurukun, Bamaga, Dajarra, Lockhart River, Mt Isa, Napranum, Palm Island, Thursday Island. Woorabinda and Wujal Wujal. For inquiries contact Glenda Jose on 07 4042
 
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Lester Coyne
Chairperson

Perth, Western Australia
Mobile 0412994624
PO Box 1249
Perth WA 6105

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