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VOTL 43 | Aboriginal, Language, Strait, Torres, Sing, Pikinini, Islander, Stories | FATSILC, Fed. Aboriginal Torres Strait Island Languages and Culture
Voice of the Land, Volume 43 PDF Print E-mail
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Voice of the Land, Volume 43


MAY 2011
Federation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Languages

Front cover image:

Senior traditional owner Laurie Baymarrwanga, reproduced courtesy of Bentley James and the Yan-nhangu
Traditional Aboriginal Owners of the Crocodile Islands

Yuwa Palanya PDF Print E-mail

Ngalyipa pukurlpa nhurrahpa ngalangu. Ngalyipa thungulku pukurlpa yamathiku tawarra.

Welcome to the latest issue of the Voice of the Land magazine. I would like to pay respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people past and present, our Languages and dialects, our mother earth, the sea, the universe and the dreaming, and also pay respect and acknowledge the traditional caretakers and custodians of our rich and diverse cultural heritage, and the spiritual connections to country.

The FATSILC team are so excited that we are able to share with you more inspiring stories about people and communities who are working hard to keep languages alive from around the country. Languages are the core of our very existence and through them we maintain links to our cultural heritage

Voice of the Land Contents PDF Print E-mail
Voice of the Land
Voice of the Land


FATSILC News Barbara McGillivray PDF Print E-mail

Since becoming the chairperson for FATSILC, we have been working closely with Rob and staff at Zeumic, who are our website designers, to develop the FATSILC website to be more effective for members and the community. We are exploring different ways we can share what we do with everyone.

FATSILC Chairperson Barbara McGillivray
The idea is to find a more economical way of sharing ideas, information and resources with our members and community, and encourage people to use the web as a forum to give us direction about how they want us to work for them. FATSILC and Zeumic created then launched the new Language Organisation Directory User List on the 14 February 2011. Now users can register at and, pending approval, start using the new functions. In the last few months, we have had 68 new users registered.Since we have made these changes people are able to perform searches for language or information by entering in an organisation name, city, town, contact name and position or any major affiliates such as ACRA, AIATSIS and Close the Gap.

FATSILC News, Letter to the Editor PDF Print E-mail

FATSILC is determined to speak out strongly in support of our languages. We believe they are central to the wellbeing of our members and other Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders across the country.


To the Editor,

I am writing in response to the publishing of an extract taken from the afterword to the new edition of his essay, Radical Hope, written by Noel Pearson published by Black Inc. 'Speaking one's mothers tongue is vital' published in The Australian on the 21st May 2011.

The Federation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Languages and Culture Corporation (FATSILC) fully support Noel Pearson's notion.

"But we will have true reconciliation when millions of Australians speak our Australian languages from coast to coast. It is then that we will have the keys to our landscape, our history, our art, our stories. The Australian languages, and the literatures and cultures that live or have lived through them, are the most important things we have in Australia. Their revival, growth and use in all social, political, educational, commercial and cultural domains are the most important matter for Australia's future".

Indigenous Publishing House goes online PDF Print E-mail

Australia's foremost Indigenous publishing house, IAD Press, is celebrating a new era with the launch of its new website and digital shopfront on Friday, 3 June.

According to IAD Press Business Manager Jeanette Wor mald, the new website gives the Alice Springs publishing house the capacity to venture into the world of  e-publishing and ensure that more than 50,000 years of stories a re-taken to the widest audience possible.

Teaching Family language....Sandra Sebasio PDF Print E-mail

The language is 'Injinoo Ikya' and was documented by Helen Harper who came up here in 1998 to work with all the old people and record the language. My father was one of them. His name was Silas 'Snowy' Woosup.

First they all made a word list together. Then they put all these words into a book or dictionary. The languages that went into the book come from the 4 clan groups of the tip here. But we are all under the Uhradi dialects. That's the main grouping for this top area. But everyone has their own dialects I really want to revive our language. 

FATSILC Teaching Family Language
The plan right now is to get the elders group together and go to the library with some elders like Mrs Ropeyarn and Bettina Mcdonnell and learn from them. We can pay a little on top of their pension to come and teach us. My dream is to pass it on and share our language and culture with whoever in our clan who wants to know and learn. I always use it with small talk to my own children. I want them to learn it too. Its just for us now to make it happen – who's going to do it we don't do it for ourselves.

How To Make A Damper Boy PDF Print E-mail
How To Make A Damper Boy
How To Make A Damper Boy
How To Make A Damper Boy
First you make a fire
How To Make a Damper Boy
Put in 3 cups of flour and 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
Wandi, Jiljun & Jaka...Lizzy Olba PDF Print E-mail

Kuku Yalanji (Jajikal Warra dialect) is spoken by the Jalunji or Jajikal Warra of Weary Bay, which is located between the Bloomfield River to the south and Cedar Bay to the north, in far north Queensland. They are sea-side people and below, senior Elder Lizzie Olbar recounts one of their important stories about the Hope Islands about 2km off shore from Rattlesnake Point. The Jajikal Warra are starting to record the stories of their country so the young people may understand where they come from.

Learning To Sing PDF Print E-mail
Learning To Sing
Learning To Sing

Learing to Sing:

When he sang for me, goanna (minh thatpak) or one of the other songs I'd ask him what it meant. Instead of telling me the words, as I wanted, he'd sing me the song again over and over

The fact is, there is no short cut you have to listen over and over to learn you hads to perform it
You had to do it
You had to sing it yourself
You had to do the best you could

It was a good lesson and one I never forgot: a song is a song is a song

A complete thing

You had to learn it as a thing itself...

Remote NT education crisis: lost in the Warlpiri triangle PDF Print E-mail

This article was first printed in the online independent journalism site It appeared as part of Bob Gosford's 'Northern Myth' blog ( which is a collection of writings about politics, law and life in the NT. Here, Bob examines some of the on-ground effects of the NT government's decision to scrap bilingual education.


Peetyawan Weeyn PDF Print E-mail

The Victorian Aboriginal Corporation for Languages is about to release an important learning and research tool into the community. Based on a community-responsive approach it is set to guide Indigenous language revival and reclamation across all Victorian Indigenous communities. It is called Peetyawan Weeyn.

Tri Pikinini ...Anna Larry PDF Print E-mail

Longtaim ago e gad tri pikinini nem Uzu, Philco an-e Akaline

Ebri dei are ebritiaim dempla alweis go ther nadha side blo ailan por luk por gud kai-kai por mek dempla self pat

Wun dei dem tri pikinini go luk por kai-kai, but dempla pinde Aka Dogai didaun underneat Wongia tri

Wen-e pas pikinini kam clo-to pore m eme mek crak nois wer dem scrub. "Hu dat walk bout insaid lo bus?"

wait por nudha pikinini eme praper pat one."

 "Or-rait den yu can go."

Wait litel bit mor gen tha tird pikinini kam, eme mek-e scrub nois.

"Who dat der wag bout insaid lo bus?" Aka Dogai eme sing out.

"Dis one me Akaline. I big boi." Eme spik wer praper hebe bois.

Natural History Museum Fellowships PDF Print E-mail

An opportunity for one Aboriginal and one Torres Strait Islander person to work and study at the Natural History Museum, London

The Natural History Museum (NHM) has announced/chosen to sponsor a Torres Strait Islander to work and study at the NHM in London for six months. The Australian government has decided to sponsor, and the NHM has agreed to host, an Aboriginal person to also work and study at the NHM. These fellowships are expected to begin from 1 September 2011. The fellowships will include funding for accommodation and airfares, and a daily rate of living allowance whilst in London.