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Indigenous Languages Institute Sydney 2008 | Language, Indigenous, Kawaw, Kalaw, Island, Speakers, Stan, Torres | FATSILC, Fed. Aboriginal Torres Strait Island Languages and Culture
Indigenous Languages Institute Sydney 2008 PDF Print E-mail

Indigenous Languages Institute Sydney 2008
Sahardi Garling, FATSIL delegate NT
The Indigenous Languages Institute was held from the 8th to the 10th of July at the Koori Centre of the University of Sydney. It was a chance for people concerned with the preservation and promotion of Indigenous languages to get together and talk about what they’ve been doing.

The keynote speakers set the tone of the forum with their stories of dignity and perseverance:

Dana Ober, a Torres Strait Islander from Saibai Island, talked about the loss of his language, Kalaw Kawaw Ya. Although there are still fluent speakers and the language is in day-to-day use, the younger generation are turning away from Kalaw Kawaw Ya in favor of Yumplatok, a Torres Strait Creole, and English. He has been trying to reinvigorate Kalaw Kawaw Ya amongst the young people of Saibai Island.

Indigenous Languages Institute Sydney 2008
Lester Coyne, FATSIL member
Warren Mundine is a passionate advocate for Indigenous languages and education. He explained how important it is for Indigenous people to be proud of themselves and their culture, and the strong role that learning ones own language plays in that pride, selfesteem and sense of identity.

Stan Grant gave a fascinating talk in two parts; first about the brutal destruction of the Wiradjuri people and their language by the white colonisers, then followed up with a pragmatic, how-to guide to rebuilding language. Stan is a giant in Indigenous language reclamation and his presentation really bought everyone together.

For a full list of the other 33 presentations go to to and follow the links.