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Meet the Governing Committee | Language, Committee, Fatsil, Involved, Aboriginal, Community, Culture, Cultural | FATSILC, Fed. Aboriginal Torres Strait Island Languages and Culture
Meet the Governing Committee PDF Print E-mail

In the lead up to the AGM in February, FATSIL held formal elections for the positions on the Governing Committee.

Two delegates were elected for each State and Territory. Here is a short profile of each of the delegates.
Note:The positions of the second delegates for South Australia and Northern Territory are currently being finalised by the Governing Committee.

Western Australia
Elected Chairperson, currently acting Manager

I have enjoyed my role as an active member of FATSIL and chairperson for the past seven years. I have been fortunate to have been involved with such an effective and credible organisation with the strength, vision and vitality to represent its members, to ensure Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander languages are recognised as the first languages of this country.

Working towards this goal has taken time and a lot of effort, contributions made easier when the collective skills of a dedicated community based committee are utilised and gathered around the continued promotion and progress of our Indigenous languages.

03 9602 4700
[M] 0417 176 000

Lester Coyne

Acting Chairperson

I have lived in Townsville for the past 12 years. I am currently working on my family languages of Gurang and Warrgamay.
My involvement with language is:
•Diploma in the Indigenous Languages
•FATSIL Committee member
•Member of the RALMC for the Townsville/Cairns regions for 3 years.

My focus for language betterment is:
Lobby the Queensland Government to implement an Indigenous Language Policy.
Establishment and structure of a State Language Reference Group.

Management and storage for a Queensland database of all listed Languages, resources, research and language workers.
07 4725 7799


New South Wales
Acting Vice Chairperson

I believe that FATSIL has picked up the mantle given to it by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and
become their key organisation to advise and advocate for our languages with governments across Australia.

The direction FATSIL has recently taken has supported the significant language programs which have been initiated in NSW.
It is important that FATSIL and its NSW members and language communities work together to grow language opportunities in the future.

02 9367 8198
[M] 0419 129 159
[M] 0429 420 359

Kevin Lowe

Western Australia

I have lived and worked in the Goldfields all my life and have a grown family. I have travelled all over WA and other states and met many people who work in the language & culture areas.

Its vitally important that we remember that the younger generations are our future and so too are our Elders, who we must listen to and hear their stories being told.

I am involved in a range of voluntary community work, which at the moment extends to

•The City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder's Reconciliation Committee
•Wankanyi Ngurra Tjurta Aboriginal Corporation Language Centre
•Secretary of the FATSIL

I intend to continue in the struggle to fight for justice and our rights to have our languages recognised and acknowledged as the first languages of this Nation.

08 9022 7144
[M] 0419 494 118



My name is Lois Blackman and I am a Goorang Goorang / Gurang woman who lives in the city of Bundaberg. I am currently secretary of the board on the Gurang Land Council and have held this position for 18 months. I also sit on various other Cultural Heritage organisations in the central Queensland districts. I believe language is an important part of our culture and one of my goals is to involve more of our community in the revival and maintenance of our indigenous languages. As a committee member I strive towards having a culture which would include our language in its full entirety for our children to inherit.

07 4154 3465
0409 472 224



I am a Gunai/ Monaro Ngarigo woman, mother and grandmother whose family lives and works in Gippsland. My life is strong in culture and family, these are the cornerstone to who I am. I have grown up knowing language and cultural knowledge from both my mother and father country. I speak language from both Gunai and Monaro Ngarigo and I have been teaching language in context in our community program to children and adults for 8 years.

I have been an active committee member to the Victorian Aboriginal Corporation for Languages for the past 4 years and theVictorian State Representative in an executive position on FATSIL for 4 years. I look forward to continuing the work of reviving our languages.

[H] 03 5122 3544
[M] 0407 862 908


Education Officer for the Koori Heritage Trust.

John is a Bangerang man, who has been involved in language programs for many years. John is a founding member of Victorian Aboriginal Languages Corporation.

In Victoria we have seen communities take language programs from a stage of retrieval and revival, right up to producing dictionaries and actually teaching the language. That has been a very worthwhile process even though we still have only a small number of communities involved. It's really important that we continue to support and encourage our communities in this work. I've recently rejoined the FATSIL committee after a few years away, and I find the changes very exciting.The future looks good.

[W] 03 8622 2600
[M] 0418 327 283


New South Wales

I became involved with Aboriginal languages, Gumbaynggirr in particular, in a formal sense when Land several others, attended classes at Sherwood, near Kempsey, in 1990 being run by Br. Steve Morelli.After graduating we attempted to set up a part-time language class at Macksville TAFE and then applied for accreditation through VETAB for a full-time language which started at Nambucca Heads — Muurrbay Aboriginal Language & Culture Cooperative in 1997.

I have been employed as Chairperson / teacher since 1997.1 have been attending language conferences in this capacity on a regional, State and Federal level ever since. 1, through Muurrbay, have been involved with the formulation of the Aboriginal Language Policy for the NSW Government and its subsequent translation into a syllabus for NSW schools that was done by the Board of Studies. In my time with FATSIL

I have seen the growth in NSW of interest in language revival and Muurrbay has always placed itself in a position to talk to and offer advice to people interested in language revival. Muurrbay is now conducting classes in local schools from pre-school to High School as well as TAFE at CHEC — Coffs Harbour Education Campus.

Tel: 02 6569 4294
Fax: 02 6569 4295
[M] 0428 400 774



My name is Jacob Robert Boggo Pilot. I am the youngest son of the late Reverend Canon Boggo Pilot and Louisa Nazareth Pilot (nee Mye). I am an Erubian of Darnley Island and belong to the Miriam Mir language group. I have lived and worked in Townsville all my life and am currently employed as the Cultural and Youth Officer with Magani Malu Kes Townsville, Limited.
My role, is to preserve and maintain Torres Strait Islander Cultural Heritage in contemporary society.This includes recording oral histories, coordinating arts and crafts workshops and community cultural events. At educational
institutions, Government Departments and private sector.

In my community I am involved in many organizations and committees. I am committed and proactive in forming partnerships to enable us all to further protect and practice our cultural heritage in a changing society.

[H] 07 4728 4990


Northern Territory

Sahardi Garling from Katherine, NT has been a member of the DiwurruwurruJaru Aboriginal Corporation for a number of years.
His work with the committee has involved supporting the research and recording of languages, interpreting services, school and community based language teaching programs and exploring new ideas for use in language and culture programs. Sahardi has a strong focus on supporting youth in his area, and sees the promotion of language and culture as vital to developing self esteem in the local community.

08 8971 1233
fax: 08 89710561

Sahardi Garling

South Australia.

Kaurna, Ngarrindjeri, Wirangu, Narungga I was involved in FATSIL in the early days and have just recently come back. The organisation has grown bigger and better, and I am excited and honoured to be working with the committee once again.
I have also been involved in the beginnings of the SA Language Centre, (YaityaWarraWodli) where exciting new changes are also taking place.

[M] 0422 757 293