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Yuwa Palanya | Positive, Indigenous, Government, Australian, History, Stories, Organisation, Better | FATSILC, Fed. Aboriginal Torres Strait Island Languages and Culture
Yuwa Palanya PDF Print E-mail

FATSILC is alive and well and doing better than ever! Thank you to the amazing people of the Special Working Group that have worked so hard in 2011 to transform FATSILC into a lean and innovative organisation. Your passion, energy and dedication for Australian Indigenous languages is truly an inspiration to us all.

Painted Flower

There are a couple of key messages I’d like to share with people working with Indigenous languages today.

Firstly, to people who don’t speak Australian Indigenous languages, and outsiders working for government and other agencies:

Please ensure that you research the history of any organisation or community before you visit them. Also, don’t make assumptions that there have been no positive achievements made, or that there has been little demonstrative activity from that organisation. It is crucial to find out the history of that place and to speak to the right people first. Also be aware of their experience, skills and abilities. From the knowledge you gain by working in this way you will be more enlightened and enriched, and if you show your respect and interest, people will also see government agencies in a different and better light.

Also, remember to report on all the positive projects and outcomes that have been achieved, and send letters to say it! There is so much great work that is happening in Indigenous communities throughout Australia. Better working relationships and positive stories will help to build bridges between community and government. Addressing Australian Indigenous languages with the rightful recognition, acknowledgement and priority they deserve is also in line with the goals outlined in the ‘Closing The Gap’ policy.

Secondly, to all our mob:

This year I have been able, for the first time ever, to write down all the information that I have stored all these years in my head, onto paper and into the computer. It’s made me realise that I have a really good memory (ha!) and that we have had an amazing journey since the establishment of FATSILC on the 3rd of December 1993. Wow!! We have had many positive and precious achievements and great memories in FATSILC’s short history. Be proud of what you achieve! Be proud of who you are!

Also, approach your work and partnerships with government in a positive way. Our recent experience has convinced me that if you have positive thoughts about partnerships you can look forward and achieve positive changes. This is the approach we have taken during our restructure and it is really working!

Welcome to issue 44 of Voice of the Land which is now available online. It contains stories about the Indigenous languages of Australia as told by the people who are speaking them, teaching them and keeping them alive. They are our grandparents, parents, children, friends and colleagues.

Our languages live with us every day. Help us revive, reclaim, preserve and maintain them all. Please send us your stories today.

Yours in Unity


Barbara McGillivray
FATSILC Chairperson