Getting on with the job PDF Print E-mail

Indigenous Engagement in Education

WOLLOTUKA,The School of Aboriginal Studies at The University of Newcastle, in partnership with the indigenous Unit from the NSW Department of Education and Training is hosting the 4th National indigenous Education Conference-The Conference will be held from 27 to 29 November 2006 at the Civic Precinct in Newcastle, NSW.The Conference theme is 'Getting on with the job: indigenous Engagement in Education'.

Conference Registration is now open, visit the conference website www.pco.com.au/niec for further information.

The formal aspect of the conference will commence at 9:00 am on Monday 27 November with the official opening. The Vice Chancellor's Welcome Reception will be held on Monday evening in the Civic theatre Foyer. In addition to a small number of visionary thought-provoking keynote addresses there will be interactive workshops and knowledge sharing with national and international

Indigenous researchers, educators and community leaders special feature of the conference will be a Cultural Afternoon including tours and a Cultural Evening at Wollotuka. The program is being designed to provide maximum learning opportunities, whilst incorporating many prospects for delegates to meet and network with other participants The conference will conclude with a closing session on the 'Wednesday afternoon.

Abstract submissions are currently open and close on Friday I September. If you Ire interested In presenting al the conference, please 'visit the conference webslee  www.,pco.com.au/niec for abstract submission guidelines_

If you have any queries regarding the conference, visit the conference website or contact Tulip Meetings Management on 02 4984 2554 or by email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Endangered languages back in t eclassroom

OLDER generations ofAboriginal people in the Southern Arnhem Land community of Ngukurr were banned from speaking their traditional languages at school when they were children. Decades later,a dedicated group of the same people are putting their languages -now endangered -back into the classroom and teaching new generations.

Now in its second year in its current form, the language program at Ngukurr Community Education Centre incorporates five languages -Marra, Ngandi, Ritharrngumaagilak, Rembarrnga and Nunggubuyu. Each of the 200 or so students learns one of their traditional languages through weekly classes run by teams of elders and language teachers.

"It was hard when I was young because white people wouldn't let us speak our language in the class", says John Joshua, chairperson of Ngukurr Language Centre. "We had to speak at home with our parents. Now we're lucky, we have a language centre and we hope td keep going while our elders are alive, speaking their languages strongly. Kids are really enjoying our classes, especially the younger ones."
Through the language program, students at Ngukurr CEC not only learn their traditional languages but also strengthen their cultural identities. They gain valuable opportunities to learn from elders and their languages are given a better chance of being passed on for future generations.

The current program was developed and implemented in 2005 without any funding from the Education Department, instead being supported entirely by Diwurruwurru-jaru Aboriginal Corporation (Katherine Regional Aboriginal Language Centre) and its annexe at Ngukurr. From the dedication shown by community members involved in the program, the local school was able to source funding to pay the language teachers.