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16 Nov 2016

Reconciliation Resource – My Grandmother’s Lingo


My Grandmother’s Lingo is an online resource that uses voice-activated gaming technology to connect users with the story of Angelina Joshua, a passionate and determined young Aboriginal woman from East Arnhem Land’s remote Ngukurr community.

Angelina is fighting to save her traditional language, Marra, after both her father and grandmother have passed away. These family members made her aware of the deep importance of language, but Angelina never got the chance to learn her ‘lingo’ at school:

“The language, it’s our identity—culture, Countries, and skin names… It’s fading away really slowly … I can’t back down now.” – Angelina

After each scene in the story, the platform prompts users to repeat words in Angelina’s Marra language into their microphone. This interaction allows users to continue onto the next scene and unlock key chapters in the story. The resource ends with a ‘heat map’ which allows users to pin their location, illustrating how many people across Australia and around the world have listened to Angelina’s story and been inspired to learn, or learn about, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages.

To support teachers and students to incorporate research, reflection and action around Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages within education environments, SBS Learn has developed teaching resources for My Grandmother’s Lingo. The resources provide strong support for Secondary Languages and Media Arts classes in particular.

My Grandmother’s Lingo is animated by Jake Duczynski, a young Aboriginal animator from Bulli, New South Wales. It also incorporates music from the Northern Territory record label Skinnyfish Music, remixed by an 18-yearold Aboriginal DJ and Triple J favourite, Kuren (Curtis Kennedy).

My Grandmother’s Lingo is an innovative and interactive animation resource that provides users with a unique and powerful opportunity to appreciate better the context, complexity and continued significance of Australia’s First Languages.

Access the online interactive experience of My Grandmother’s Lingo at