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Guugu Yimithirr LOTE Program | Community, Language, School, Lote, Indigenous, Support, Students, Program | FATSILC, Fed. Aboriginal Torres Strait Island Languages and Culture
Guugu Yimithirr LOTE Program PDF Print E-mail

L to R.Teacher Shirley Costello, Deputy Principal Dora Gibson and LOTE teacher Pearl Deemal.
AFTER considerable discussion, planning and lobbying by various people and groups within Hope Vale Aboriginal Community and Education Queensland, the GuuguYimithirr language of Hope Vale was one of the first in the State to be implemented as the official Language Other Than English (LOTE) at Hope Vale State School.

Since 1994, not only has the program been maintained, but it has been developed and strengthened through the passion and commitment of the Indigenous teachers at the school.


A PhD student researching the Guugu Yimithirr LOTE Program developed a list of recommendations from her research, which may be helpful to other communities considering similar programs.


  • The affairs and successes of language programs need to be made public and explicit to improve community knowledge of the program and gain community support.
  • In the context of school support of language maintenance, the present Indigenous LOTE model is not ideal — nor is bilingual education in this case.The implementation of alternative models (both school and community-based) needs consideration.
  • There is a need to increase staff/community members' knowledge and understanding of the value of language maintenance, and to allay concerns that the teaching of Indigenous languages impacts negatively on English competence.The idea that students can have both languages, and therefore 'double power', needs promotion.
  • Issues of consultation and ownership are crucial to success and community support.There is a need to ensure ownership and control is given to and remains with the community, and to understand that the school is capable of support only.


  • It is recommended that there be a general `awareness raising' in the community of the status of their Indigenous language/s and language practices.
  • As Indigenous languages give pride, identity, and groupness to speakers, programs and languages need to be embraced and celebrated, and given higher public profile.
  • It is recommended that everyday communicative functionality of Indigenous languages be actively promoted.
  • This study shows that while language and culture is very important, economic capital is also needed. Land, tourism, enterprise, and community infrastructure are avenues for economic capital that could be further investigated.

For further information please contact:

LOTE teacher Pearl Deemal on 07 40 609170,
or Researcher Anet Ridley on 07 40 603 003
or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Students from Anzac Hill High School in Alice Springs.
Students from Anzac Hill High School in Alice Springs, which has 280 students from years 7 to 10 and offers a range of counseling and support services that are having a positive effect on the outcomes for students.

With their teacher Janet Turner are Shauna Stirling, Jessica Procak, Nicholas Chong, Jamie Leon,Tarita Chester, Whitney Abbott, Colin Tilmouth, Deon Tilmouth, Eric Williams, Colin Liddle, and Lloyd Turner.