Reconciliation in the Media – Languages Focus
In consultation with your local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, teachers and educators can build awareness of the diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages and the stories around their history and modern usage. The below articles and resources are useful conversation starters for students, parents and colleagues.
If language tells us who we are, then who am I?
In this opinion piece written in August, Stan Grant reflects on the power of language and its place in his own life as a journalist, traveller, and Wiradjuri man. Living in the “worlds in between”, Stan’s first language is English, but his father’s is Wiradjuri.
How does language shape a
person’s identity? What language(s) do you speak and
how do they connect to your sense of self?
First Languages in maiden speeches
September, the maiden speeches of newly elected
Aboriginal parliamentarians Patrick Dodson, Linda
Burney and Malarndirri McCarthy were moving in
many ways, and the strong presence of Aboriginal
languages was particularly significant. Senator
Patrick Dodson and the Speaker addressed each
other in Yawuru language, the Hon Linda Burney
MP was sung into parliament in Wiradjuri language
by family members and Senator Malarndirri McCarthy
addressed the chamber in Yanyuwa language.
Conversation starter: What is the symbolic and practical significance of Australia’s First Languages being spoken in the Senate and House of Representatives?
Shakespeare translated into Noongar language
As part of a discussion on ABC’s Q&A program
focused on Shakespeare, Kylie Farmer translated
sonnet 127 into Noongar language from South-West
WA. Kylie is a part of the Yirra Yaakin Shakespeare
project, which focuses on using sonnets such as
127, which she believes is a sonnet “lobbying for the
beauty in Blackness”, to teach students language.
What is the value of performing
or learning about a Shakespearean English play in
Noongar - one of Australia’s First Languages?
First Aboriginal language Wikipedia site
For the first time, an Australian Aboriginal language Wikipedia page is being developed. The language is Noongar, and it is hoped the NoongarPedia Project will help revitalise this and other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages.
Conversation starter: Why is it valuable to create online resources in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages?