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Graduates of the West Australian Education Department's Aboriginal languages teacher training course
Graduates of the West Australian Education Department's Aboriginal languages teacher training course
REPORT BY LOLA JONES
KIMBERLEY DISTRICT EDUCATION OFFICE


THIRTEEN Aboriginal people graduated from the Education Department's first Aboriginal Languages Teacher Training course in Dampier in July.

Elders and representatives of the Ngarluma people in Dampier attended the graduation.

The program is part of the Department's commitment to preserving Aboriginal languages by teaching them in schools.

Right: Graduates of the West Australian Education Department's Aboriginal languages teacher training course are:

Patsy Bedford — Bunuba Jacqueline Barry — Wajarri Kerry Churnside —Yindjibarndi Violet Carter — Bardi Marion Cheedy —Yindjibarndi Gloria Dann — Noongar argaret Dalbin — Kartujarra Charmaine Hayden — Noongar Merindah Hansen — Noongar Irene Hayes —Yindjibarndi David Rogers —Walmajarri Doreen Street — Gooniyandi Allery Sandy —Yindjibarndi
 


Between them the graduates speak eight languages — Bardi, Bunuba, Gooniyandi, Kartujarra, Noongar, Wajarri, Walmajarri and Yinjibarndi.

All graduates are already teaching their own languages at schools across the State. The skills developed in the course will add to their expertise in the classroom.

The list of participants includes a qualified teacher, Aboriginal and Islander Education Workers, and Aboriginal language specialists.

The course is part of the Languages Other Than English (LOTE) 2000 Training Program enabling Aboriginal language teachers to develop and improve teaching skills and a range of oral, visual and written resources.

Graduates undertook the course in four stages over a 12 month period. The course is so popular that the second course, with 26 participants is well under way.

The Education Department's Acting Director-General, Ron Mance, said he was delighted the first intake had been a success.

"The number of schools wanting to include Aboriginal language as part of the curriculum is increasing." he said.

"We see this as a vital step in preserving the language of indigenous Australians.

Aboriginal languages are included among the priority languages we want to see being learnt by Western Australian children.

There has been a wonderful response from the families of both Aboriginal and non- Aboriginal children at the schools where Aboriginal languages are now being taught."