Numbulwar hosts Language Revitalisation workshop PDF Print E-mail
Participants of Numbulwar Language Revitalisation workshop
Participants of Numbulwar Language Revitalisation workshop
NUMB ULWAR recently hosted around 50 community members representing six remote communities and eight endangered Aboriginal languages for a Language Revitalisation workshop. All the participants work in their remote communities and schools to teach language and culture. The workshop, facilitated by NT DEET and Funded by IESIP (Indigenous Education Strategic Initiatives Program), was held at Nurnbulwar from May 23-25.

This meeting followed on from the inaugural workshop held at Ngukurr in 2005. Participants at the first workshop were keen to visit Numbulwar to observe the Wubuy language program at Numbulwar School. Students at Numbulwar School receive daily lessons in Wubuy from experienced local teachers and eiders who have been teaching for more than a decade. The Wubuy program at Numbulwar IS a strong program and a good model for other communities working on their endangered languages.

For ocher communities In the region,. language and culture programs have been suffering due to inconsistent funding and reduced support For schools. Community members at Urapunga have not been able to. run their Ngalakgan language program at Urapunga School since 2004 because of lack of funding and support.
 
Participate at the workshop were visited by  Minister for Education Syd Stirling and were able to inform Mr. Stirling of these issues.  John Joshua, chairperson of the Ngukurr Language Centre, said "Our funding has always stopped and started, stopped and started. We don't want our program to stop again. It’s happening at Urapunga right now. White teachers and principals come and go but we will always be there, wanting to have our languages taught in the school.”

Travelling to Numbulwar eas big occasion for all participants but especially for three. women from Pigeon Hole community who teach the Billinarra  language and culture program at Pigeon Hole School. Undertaking a one-hour flight to Katherine followed by a ten-hour road trip shows how valuable language and culture is to community members.

Internationa Convention Ratified

In April 2006 the UNESCO Convention on the Safeguarding of Ontagible Cultural Heritage came into force. By 31st March, the Convention had been ratified by 6 countries greatly exceeding the 30 signatures required for ratification.

There us a report in the newsletter about the Expert Meeting held in Tokyo last month on community involvement in safeguarding ICH. The meeting developed advice for the first session of the General Assembly of the State Parties to the ICH, held in Paris in June.

News about the Convention is available in the April 2006 UNESCO newsletter "Intangible Heritage Messenger". You can download this newsletter at http://portal.unesco.org/culture/en/