National Indigenous Languages Forum and EXPO PDF Print E-mail

NLLIAs 1996 Brisbane Language Expo
NLLIAs 1996 Brisbane Language Expo
Perth University of WA.

Representatives from Language bodies, community projects, education and government agencies and related indigenous organisations around Australia, are being invited to take part in the National Indigenous Language Forum and Expo to be held at the University of West Australia on October 1 and 2, 1999.

Photo: The FATSIL display at NLLIA's 1996 Brisbane Language Expo brought people from all over the country to speak to the public and to take part in the forum discussion.

THE event is being staged to coincide with the FATSIL Annual General Meeting on September 30.

The Expo is being organised by FATSIL and the University of WA, with the Perth, Noongar Language Centre as co-host. ATSIC has provided the funding for the event, which is expected to be one of the most significant forums yet held to focus on supporting and strengthening Australian indigenous languages.

Already the Language Forum and Expo has stimulated strong interest nationally from Language Centres, community project groups and key stakeholders, including West Australian colleges and the University of WA. Dr. Sally Morgan and her colleagues from the Indigenous Oral History Programs Centre have provided their assistance in the preparations for the event.

The purpose of the EXPO and Forum is to raise national awareness of issues affecting indigenous language maintenance, and to help communities to access resources that are available through the language centres and institutions such as AIATSIS.

Recommendations for a national nguage policy for community initiatives and indigenous language education programs will be formulated from the Forum discussion. ATSIC and DETYA will be involved in this process.

Two key issues to be covered by the Forum are;

  • Bilingual Education in remote 4 community schools and the Northern Territory Government decision to redirect bilingual program funding to English as Second Language programs
  • The Stolen Generation -Accessing community language from existing resources. 'Why is language important to the Stolen Generation'

ATSIC has funded FATSIL to invite five keynote speakers to address the above issues at the Forum, and to develop promotional material for the Language EXPO.

Confirmed speakers at the Forum will include; Lester Irabinna Rigney, South Australia; Dr. Christine Nicholl, Flinders University SA; Veronica Dobson, Language teacher, IAD NT; and Jeannie Bell, Teacher/coordinator, College of TAFE Far North Old.

A representative from Miwatj Community Education Centre, Nhulunbuy is to be confirmed.

A West Australian representative is to be nominated by delegates and the Noongar Language Centre in consultation with the planning committee.

Joan McPherson, law student from Edith Cowan University, will speak on the issues surrounding the Stolen Generation. Joan will provide a personal comment on the relevant Government policies from the late 1800's, and its impact on individuals in the current generation.