FATSILC News....Barbara McGillivray PDF Print E-mail

This last year has been the most productive time in all my experience at FATSILC since starting out in 1998. In partnership with the FATSILC Special Working Group and staff from the Office for the Arts and the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet we have worked hard to improve every aspect of our operations. We looked especially closely at the way we work with government, the way we report what we do, the way we speak to our members and other stakeholders, our past achievements and future direction and the restructure of the organisation.

In the beginning FASTILC was set up to do a job of increasing Indigenous languages awareness with the wider community and to assist the states to set up regional language services. This vision is now largely completed. We are now implementing a restructure that will better reflect our current aims of promoting languages to government and community service providers, and advocating for the Australia Indigenous language community and speakers.

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Traditional Dancing

The main changes we have made are:

  • establishing a smaller executive working group that are responsible for strategy, future directions and partnership with government
  • streamlining our activities and reducing the cost of our operations by using more technology and web-based administration and management tools
  • completing a major budget review and implementing ways to reduce costs
  • improving the way our members, other stakeholders and Indigenous community language speakers can contact us and be involved
  • using our Facebook page as a tool for communicating with people. We add information regularly about what we are doing and how you can get involved. We are also encouraging people to send in stories via the Facebook page for publication in the Voice of the Land magazine.

Our vision is to show people that they can really use new technology and web-based tools to work for them. We have introduced new communication tools to our procedures and processes like VOIP and SKYPE which means we can respond to your requests and support your issues faster.

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akweke gurung muurrpa delipa
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Jamie Cripps

Having said this, we are still mindful of those people who are not able to access this technology and we are exploring other options that we can offer them. We want to work more to assist Elders and young people to work together to exchange knowledge. FATSILC acknowledges that young people are our future and we need to involve them in future planning and decision making to support them to be our new leaders.

You can now download all the community protocol agreements from our website. They are easy to use and are intended to provide template agreements for use between community people and professionals seeking to work with them. We plan to make all of our services accessible via our website as well as using visual communication as much as written text to help people for whom English may be a second language.

We really want to be innovative with the way we operate and communicate, and very much welcome your suggestions, guidance and feedback.

We are planning to host a National Indigenous Language workshop in the first half of 2012. We want to have it as a round table and invite all community people to come and talk to us about projects and ideas and what they’d like to see happen. We want your ideas about how we can represent you and what we should submit to the United Nations Forums and other representative bodies about Indigenous languages and culture.

We would also like to express our support for the Yindjibarndi people of north West Australia and their most senior Elder and leader, Mr Ned Cheedy, as they fight the mining company of Twiggy Forest, FMG, for cultural rights over their land. For more information about what is happening please visit yindjibarndi.org.au.

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Doris Paton
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Tasmania
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Indigenous Art