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Working from a place of resilience: Hawaiian language, technology and the contemporary world

Presented by Candace Kaleimamoowahinekapu Galla from the Department of Language & Literacy Education at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver


Presentation type:



Candace is an assistant professor in the Department of Language & Literacy Education at the University of British Columbia Vancouver. Her area of research includes the intersection of Indigenous language education, revitalization, and digital technology, and more recently has become interested in language learning and performative arts, and language and wellbeing. She received her MA in Native American Linguistics and a PhD in Language, Reading and Culture with a specialization in Indigenous language revitalization, education, and digital technology from the University of Arizona. Candace's presentation will highlight the resurgence of the Hawaiian language, Hawaiian medium education, and the role of multimedia technologies in language learning and teaching.



Resource Network for Linguistic Diversity: The importance of building independence into language revitalisation projects

Presented by Andrew Tanner and Ebony Joachim from the Resource Network for Linguistic Diversity

Presentation type:
Break-out - Education

This presentation outlines the training and ongoing support that the Resource Network for Linguistic Diversity provides for Indigenous communities to work independently on their own language preservation projects.


RNLD's ultimate mission is to empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to conduct their own language documentation and revitalization projects independently of outside assistance or direction. Their training to date has included working with individuals, family groups, community groups, language teams, language centre staff, staff of Indigenous organisations, art centres, traditional owner organisations, and also schools in strong language situations, revitalisation situations and reclamation language situations.


The DRIL Training Program offers skills in linguistics, teaching and learning methods (including the Master-Apprentice Language Learning Program which involves immersion teaching and learning), language documentation skills, technologies, resource creation and public awareness.


RNLD's  DRIL Training Program has three streams of training to build communities' autonomy and control of their language work.


(1)    Documenting and Revitalising Indigenous Languages (DRIL) Program (Flexi Stream). This is the stream in which RNLD runs training workshops tailored to what the community wants to learn skills in.

(2)    Professional Development (PD) Program. This is a selective program that aims to develop the professional capacity of Aboriginal and TSI people involved in language work and to build a professional network. It provides intensive training in linguistics over 1-2 weeks. RNLD has hosted 6 Professional Development workshops in Melbourne and 27 people from around the country have been invited to take part in this program.

(3)    Accredited Certificate Stream – RNLD now offers 2 nationally recognised accredited courses. They are, Certificate III in Aboriginal Languages for Communities and Workplaces and Certificate II in Master-Apprentice Language Learning Program.


Click here to find out more information about RNLD's DRIL Training Program

Enriching and expanding the expressive possibilities of language revival


Presented by Vicki Couzens and Kris Eira from Victorian Aboriginal Corporation for Languages

Presentation type:
Break-out - Community

Through Vicki Couzens’ language revival journey she came to realise the critical importance of grammar reclamation and revival to community visions of language fluency.


A unique opportunity to work further and deeper on this grammar and vocabulary building arose through Deborah Cheetham’s Requiem Mass Project. This Project was developed by Ms Cheetham at the request of Gunditjmara Elders and she in turn invited Vicki into the Project to translate the Mass into Gunditjmara language. The Requiem Mass format was chosen by Deborah to offer acknowledgement and bring healing from the violence of encounters between Europeans and Gunditjmara Ancestors in their homelands. This Mass is a classical music performance work for solo, choir and orchestra. Vicki took up the challenge of translating the Requiem Mass text and in her turn, invited Kris Eira, VACL Community Linguist to collaborate. They have worked collaboratively for almost ten years in language reclamation.


Vicki and Kris embarked on a profound journey into deep translation processes for grammar and vocabulary building to meet the challenges of this powerful and evocative text. From this they emerged with an understanding of ways to enrich and expand the expressive possibilities of language in revival.


Pama Language Centre: Working with speech communities to revitalise and maintain the languages of Cape York


Presented by Xavier Barker, Karin Calley, Jan Goetesson, Louise Ashmore, Sophie Rendina, Agnes Mark, Lillian Bowen and Sandra Sebasio from the Pama Language Centre

Presentation type:
Break-out - Community
Pama Language Centre was established to support First Nations of Cape York Peninsula to arrest the decimation of Ancestral Languages. There is no ‘quick fix’ for language revitalisation and maintenance. Language revitalisation is a long-term goal. Language maintenance is an ongoing challenge.
Pama Language Centre work with speech communities to help develop resources and opportunities to support intergenerational transmission of Cape York Peninsula languages and oral literature.
Pama Language Centre have projects at various levels of maturity from salvage efforts, working with archival materials to delivering Ancestral-Language-As-Medium classes in both the community and within the formal education framework.  They have a blend of traditional transmission methods as well as projects embracing new media and modern ideas. Contemporised traditional artforms also feature in their work.  
Pama Language Centre would like to showcase the work they are able to do and share some ideas for revitalisation projects and maintenance systems.

Developing a Māori language pronunciation tool based on user feedback


Presented by Peter J Keegan from the University of Auckland

Presentation type:
Break-out - Technology

The MAONZE project (Māori and New Zealand English) uses recordings from three sets of speakers to track changes in the pronunciation of Māori and evaluate influences from English.  The first group of speakers were born in the late nineteenth century and recorded mostly in 1946-48. The second group of speakers are kaumātua/kuia (elders) born between 1920 and 1940, and the third group are young speakers born between 1970 and 1990. Results from the MAONZE project show changes in both vowel quality and vowel duration (for all age groups and both genders) and evidence of diphthong mergers especially amongst the younger speakers.


In this presentation Peter will briefly demo a computer-based tool that assists advanced learners and L2 teachers of Māori to improve their own pronunciation of Māori. Three major versions of the tool have been developed and trialled with real users in 2015, 2016 and 2017. The tool allows users to get real time feedback on their own pronunciation of individual vowels, diphthongs and commonly mispronounced Māori words. It also allows users to listen to and compare their pronunciations with ‘gold standard’ pronunciations of elder males or elder females by drawing on the speaker database developed by the MAOZNE project. Peter will describe developing and trialling several phases of the tool, focusing on changes made to the aid and additional features added due to trial results and user feedback. He will conclude with a discussion of issues of online tool development for indigenous communities.


 Speaking South Coast Language as spoken by Elders


Presented by Sue Norman, BJ Cruse, Osley Harrison and Ty Cruse from the Aboriginal Culture Centre Monaroo Bobberrer Gudu

Presentation type:
Break-out - Community


The presenters have been developing their language based on audio recordings of the community of the south coast from Eden to north of Nowra. Their aims are to respect the language knowledge held in the community and for the community to speak the language. This group from the Aboriginal Culture Centre Monaroo Bobberrer Gudu has developed a process of learning language through speaking and are keen to share these methods with other language revival groups around Australia.


Their presentation will include a background to their language development, description of their methods and a short practical lesson in using one of these methods. The presenters will speak on their own experience of working in this project and their hopes for the future.


 State Library of Queensland and Community Access & Discoverability


Presented by Des Crump and Rose Warsow from the State Library of Queensland

Presentation type:
Break-out - Community

Collecting institutions have a diverse range of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage materials in their collections. The dilemma for most institutions is how to make it accessible and discoverable for community members while at the same time building the capacity of community to research and manage their cultural heritage.


This presentation's focus is on how the State Library of Queensland has opened up their collections for community access, as well as building capacity in communities to not only research these materials, but create new knowledge to enhance community language revival.

 Sharing Indigenous language and culture online – the Digital Shell project


Presented by Jill Nganjmirra, Seraine Namundja from the Bininj Kunwok Language Project and Cathy Bow from Charles Darwin University

Presentation type:
Break-out - Technology

There are many challenges involved in developing tools for teaching Indigenous languages, including lack of resources, lack of skilled teachers, ensuring community support, and finding or developing appropriate websites to deliver such courses. In an attempt to address the technical challenge, a team from Charles Darwin University (with funding from the federal Office of Learning and Teaching) developed a ‘digital shell’ through which Indigenous authorities could share their knowledge online.


Developed initially to fill the gap in university-level courses in Australian Indigenous languages, the shell can also be adapted easily for other kinds of courses. It uses WordPress, a free and open-source content management system that is easy to use and can be customised to allow different looks and functionality to suit the purpose, and allows a variety of formats to be uploaded, including text, image, audio and video.


The digital shell was piloted with a four-unit introductory course in Kunwinjku, a language widely spoken in West Arnhem Land, NT. Under the authority of the Bininj Kunmayali Language Committee, resources were collected and created, and a curriculum was developed to introduce various aspects of Kunwinjku language and culture. Over 100 volunteer learners signed up to do the course, with very positive feedback.


This session will present the digital shell and some of the outcomes of the pilot project, as well as discuss opportunities for further adaptation and development for other language groups interested in sharing their knowledge in this way.


Cultural Language Technology 


Presented by Lynette Ackland and Estelle Miller from the Ceduna Aboriginal Corporation - Far West Languages Centre

Presentation type -
Break-out: Community


In 2005 FWLC assisted Mrs Miller to develop a hard copy resource with CD which incorporated a Cultural Activity which was accompanied by both English and Wirangu Language to follow the story. In 2015/2016 FWLC followed through using Technology of video and computers to develop a short film and iBook of the same content. The short film gives some cultural background as well as Wirangu Language being repeated within the short film so that persons watching will learn the language but also the culture of the Ceduna region. Ceduna Aboriginal Corporation has also developed the same short film version for 2 other language groups which show a cultural activity with language accompanying the activity.


 Learning and Teaching Language Through Story

Presented by Michael Jarrett and Susan Poetsch from Muurrbay Aboriginal Language and Culture Co-operative

Presentation type -
Break-out: Education
This talk will describe a set of professional learning workshops for teachers/tutors of Gumbaynggirr, an Aboriginal language on the mid-north coast of New South Wales. This session will show the strategies used and the resources the presenters developed to cater for the different levels of language knowledge and teaching experience of the participants. Each workshop was based on a story, an approach that could be adopted and adapted by other language groups.

 Opie goes to Ngukurr

Presented by Angelina Joshua, Grant Thompson, Gautier Durantin and Scott Heath from Ngukurr Language Centre

Presentation type -
Break-out: Technology

In 2017, Ngukurr Language Centre and Guluman Child and Family Centre invited Opie to visit.


Ngukurr Language Centre has been working with the University of Queensland ITEE robotics lab and the Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language on a project to create Opie, a child-friendly robot. Opie is designed to enhance children’s learning from technology, by making it a social activity. Children interact with Opie via a tummy-mounted tablet which runs language games.


In this presentation, Opie will show everyone some of the interactive language activities that were created during the visit. The presenters will talk about how the app that is used to create Opie’s language teaching material could be used to document stories, or to make your own language teaching resources for use in a classroom.


 Ajamurnda: Anindilyakwa Digital Collection Catalogue

Presented by Melainie Collins, Carolyn Fletcher, Judy Lalara, David Nathan, Sylvia Tkac, and Carol Wurramara from the Groote Eylandt Language Centre

Presentation type:
Break-out - Technology

Groote Eylandt (NT) is the home of the Anindilyakwa people and their language, one of the most thoroughly spoken of all Australian languages. The island's Aboriginal communities and organisations aim to maintain and defend their language against the threats posed by increasing dominance of English and the encroachment of other languages such as Kriol and Yolngu Matha. To achieve this goal, the Groote Eylandt Language Centre is taking a number of steps, including bridging the past, present and future by building a digital catalogue and collection of language and cultural materials. Development is based around three main pillars:


(a) a legacy collection of language, cultural and historical materials - manuscripts, photos and tapes, many of which are being digitised - containing stories, dictionary and linguistic descriptions, and ethnographic and environmental knowledge

(b) Ajamurnda, an innovative digital catalogue to support access to the legacy and newly created materials, especially for Anindilyakwa community members

(c) an ongoing participatory framework, based around a customised type of "crowdsourcing", to encourage and enable community members to enrich the collection by adding information in their own terms


The presentation will explain the background, goals, design and building of a new, innovative digital collection catalogue "Ajamurnda" primarily aimed at enabling Anindilyakwa community members to access language and cultural resources and to contribute their own information to make the collection richer for current and future generations. The design and system will place particular emphasis on meeting strong local cultural, linguistic and protocol values and priorities.

 Wake up CALL!

Presented by Maree Klesch from Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education - Centre for Australian Language and Linguistics

Presentation type:
Break-out - Education 

The Centre for Australian Languages and Linguistics (CALL) Collection is an archive of Australian First Nation's languages materials, collected over the past 40 years at Batchelor Institute. The presentation will tell about the history of the collection and how the materials have been deposited by students, staff and linguist in trust for preservation and safe keeping. The Collection comprised of languages from across Australia including, text, audio and video recordings, with the majority of the Collection aimed at teaching First Nation's Languages.


The Collection team have worked with a number of Indigenous organisations and remote communities to design and build a database and website to make the materials available, and to be able to digitally repatriate the materials back to community. The database includes a permission strategy that encompasses First Nation's ICIP and Western law to ensure integrity in the management and distribution of materials.

 Developing Online Resources for Arabana language

Presented by Veronica Arbon, Eleanor McCall from the Mobile Language Team - Adelaide

Presentation type:
Break-out - Technology 
Arabana is a language from the western Lake Eyre region with only a handful of active speakers remaining. The community has identified a need for language programmes which are accessible to Arabana people living in centres as widespread as Adelaide, Pt Augusta, Cooper Pedy, Alice Springs, Sydney and Darwin. This presentation will be an opportunity to see the online database and interactive e-lessons in action and learn more about the processes involved in their development.

 Evaluating digital tools for endangered languages

Presented by Cathy Bow from Charles Darwin University

Presentation type:
Break-out - Technology 

Large amounts of money are spent on developing digital technologies for supporting endangered language work, for language learning, documentation, archiving, promotional and other purposes. Yet little is done on evaluating these tools to identify if they met the goals they set out to achieve, and if they deliver on the promise for which they were funded.


Evaluation is not a simple process – there are several different aspects that can be focused on and criteria to be considered.  There are basic questions of functionality (does it do what it’s supposed to do?) and usability (can people use it to do what they need to do?), and digging further into questions of usefulness (does it do something that couldn’t be done before?), impact (what has changed as a result of having this tool?), uptake (who is using it?) and value (could the funding have been better spent elsewhere?). It is also important to consider a range of different perspectives (Indigenous authorities, community members, educational users, non-Indigenous users, funding bodies, etc).


In this presentation, Cathy Bow will present some of the issues involved in evaluating digital tools and discuss some strategies for undertaking such evaluation. 

 Muurrbay: A brief history from two perspectives


Presented by Gary Williams, Micheal Jarrett and Mari Rydwen from Muurrbay Aboriginal Language and Culture Co-operative


Presentation Type:

Breakout - Community

In this presentation the coordinator linguist at Muurrbay along with the CEO Gary Williams, or another representative delegated by him, will review the history of Muurrbay and its changing role in the development of NSW languages and Aboriginal language education. This is a presentation from both sides, from a community member involved in teaching and research at Muurrbay during that time and from the perspective of a former consultant at the NSW Education Department during the introduction of the Aboriginal languages syllabus, who relied heavily on Muurrbay staff for advice and support. It will explore the changing role of the organisation over time.

Language Revitalisation in Aboriginal Languages Teacher Training

Presented by Lola Jones from Department of Education, Western Australia 


Presentation Type:

Breakout - Education

From 1995-2015 there have been 15 intakes of Aboriginal Languages Teacher Training delivered by the Western Australian  Department of Education; a two year in-school internship with 4 block releases of 5 days, plus a year as a Probationary Language teacher. The Aboriginal Language Teacher qualification is recognised as Limited Registration to Teach with the Teachers Registration Board of WA and other sectors in education.  

In October 2015 Lola Jones undertook research into Indigenous Languages Revitalisation with First Nations people in Canada.


Some of the key findings from this research:

•    Focus on building adult speakers in your community

•    Individualise language revitalisation through reclaiming domains

•    Language revitalisation as part of Aboriginal Languages Teacher Training

•    Some tertiary institutions deliver initial training in community with local mentorship


Based on this research and taking into account the WA situation of multiple languages and limited resources an additional block release has been created and changes have been made to the content in the Aboriginal Languages Teacher Training.


This presentation will look at the challenges and success of these changes in training language teachers and impacts on language teaching.

Principles for developing resources for language revival

Presented by John Giacon from the Australian National University and Sydney University


Presentation Type:

Breakout - Education

Over the last 20 years a wide range of resources have been produced for Gamilaraay and Yuwaalaraay. These include word books, theses, dictionaries, videos, phone app, computer dictionary, children's books, Facebook pages, web sites, lesson notes, CDs and song texts, a teacher’s handbook and more. The presentation gives a brief summary of these resources and then considers the principles involved in developing and distributing the resources. The principles include teamwork, making resources readily available, consistency across resources and keeping up with new developments such as new media and on-line platforms. The presentation evaluates some of the GY resources. In particular it considers the effectiveness and efficiency of resources in language revival. It also looks at gaps in the available resources. One obvious feature is the almost total absence of GY literature. This is true at all levels, from the earliest children’s readers to long texts. Finally, the presentation asks what structures that support effective ongoing resource production.


GY resources



Kaya Wandjoo Ngala Noongarpedia: Knowledge and language regeneration through the use of online pedias

Presented by Professor Leonard Collard and Jennie Buchanan from the University of Western Australia


Presentation Type:

Breakout - Technology

Since 2014, the presenters have been exploring the possibilities and challenges involved in creating a digital Noongar knowledge and language encyclopedia. It is a work in progress, and with the support of the Australian Research Council and Wikimedia Australia, they now have the Noongarpedia incubator site live, online and available for people to contribute to.


Noongarpedia, like other Web 2.0 platforms, provides an opportunity for people to not only consume knowledge produced by others (much the same way as books offer) but also become producers themselves. This has allowed the presenters to work with over a dozen schools, three university groups, a natural resource management organization and the state library to draw Noongar and non-Noongar community into their work. By inviting and training people in how to become contributors to the site, they have been able to strengthen Noongar knowledge networks and communities.


In this session the presenters will talk about the work over the past three years and provide a practical demonstration of how Noongarpedia works, how you can create articles and edits, how you can upload your own images, audio and video clips. They hope to give you a chance to see how you might make use of a free, technologically supported platform like Noongarpedia in your work to strengthen language communities and honour the strong intellectual traditions that abound in Indigenous culture.

Language Revitalisation

Presented by Harold Ludwick from Balkanu Cape York Development Corporation


Presentation Type:



“Investing” or “Divesting” in your CULTURAL WEALTH will change the course of history in your cultural inheritance.

A strong language in your community is the catalyst to continued life of your cultural journey, from what it was 40 thousand yrs ago to where we are today.

Investment into language maintenance becomes your responsibility as an individual, this investment means passing from you to your children and family ... language, your inherited right.
Our journey doesn’t end because we now speak English, actually being bilingual shows Traditional & Cultural ownership within our own bama estates, in this great country of ours.

The fundamentals to keeping our cultural connection to country, is language retention ... “THE INVESTMENT”
Fear that we all share, is that we lose connection to country, bush foods & kinship through “THE DIVESTMENT” ... many groups have been harmed through assimilation in which damaged their investment, revival of an important part of who you are can be done with determination of continued investment.

Ngarrindjeri for smarties (not Dummies) and for Smart Phones

Presented by Phyllis Williams, Mary-Anne Gale, Vicki Hartman, Georgina Trevorrow, Adrian Barr and Lena Rigney from the
Miwi-inyeri Pelepi-ambi Aboriginal Corporation


Presentation Type:


Breakout - Technology

MIPAAC representatives will be co-presenting with Musica Viva about a new Phone App they have been developing together for the Ngarrindjeri language. Accompanying this Phone App is a pocket size booklet, produced by MIPAAC, which was launched in July 2016 called "Ngarrindjeri for Smarties". The booklet contains words and phrases in Ngarrindjeri to help Ngarrindjeri people plus schools learn and use the language for everyday purposes. It also contains Dreaming narratives, Placenames, Clan names, Totems names and much more.  The Phone App includes all that is in the booklet, plus interactive games, word pronunciations, and search functions that make the Ngarrindjeri language readily accessible, as well as fun to teach and learn.

Intergenerational, Interracial, and Trans-locational Collaboration for Language Revitalization

Presented by Tsēma Igharas and Colleen Skubovius from the Dah Dzahge Nodeside Language Project, Tahltan Central Government


Presentation Type:

Breakout - Education

This is a presentation on intergenerational, interracial, and trans-locational collaboration for language revitalization, based on the Dah Dzahge Nodeside model.


As part of Dah Dzahge Nodeside, Tsēma contributes her artwork and design expertise for children's books, the computer application and language tools. Louise contributes her experience as a retired teacher and current language learner. She has also created a series of creative language learning tools for schools and language nests. Amber is a Tāłtān ally who came to work with Dah Dzahge Nodeside after completing an internship transcribing the Tāłtān dictionary for her linguistics master’s degree. Since then, she has worked to gather data to build our computer app and she facilitates language classes at our local college. Together, they would like to present their language team's accomplishments that can help other Indigenous groups facilitating language revitalization programs. They would also like to discuss their challenges and successes of being members located away from Tahltan Territory, sometimes spread across the world, yet all working towards Tāłtān language revitalization.  


*The Tahltan are First Nations from the mountains of northwestern British Columbia in Canada and have occupied and protected their unceded territory since time immemorial. 

Wangkiny Noongar Kwoppa Maaman: Using language in work on healthy Noongar Fathering


Presented by Len Collard and Dave Palmer from Murdoch University

Presentation Type:


 The history of post-contact Australia has in part been the history of attempts to destroy Noongar moort (family systems) and remove Noongar men from their involvement in maaman (fathering). This has had a devastating impact on Noongar wangkiny (language use). This history has seen many challenges confronting Noongar, including absences associated with involvement in the justice system, alcohol and substance use, involvement in gambling, problems in access to housing and a lack of fathering figures and role models. Despite this Noongar men have been able to maintain a range of roles in the lives of their communities, central in traditional knowledge transmission, work, leadership and the raising of children.


Today Noongar fathering practices continue to be greatly impacted on by a range of forces including institutional child removal, access to traditional lands and economies, the imposition of market economies, the introduction of foreign technologies, forced language loss, the introduction of various forms of Christianity, western epistemology, and modern expressions of culture. At the same time, many Noongar men continue to be shaped by a renaissance of culture, language, and expressions of identity.


This presentation will focus upon a project that seeks to support the relationship between maamaniny (fathering) and wangkiny (language). It will draw upon filmed interviews with Noongar maaman (fathers) and include a background discussion of a series of workshops designed to incorporate a language and cultural approach to Aboriginal fathering work. The workshop will start with the story of the Noongar Maaman Project, describe the role Noongar men have played in its design and development, explore the connection between Noongar wangkiny (language) and healthy fathering and offer participants a chance to to geninniy (see) and birniny (pick through) the work as expressed in a short documentary. 



Young Champions

Presented by Young Champions, in conjunction with First Languages Australia


Presentation Type:


Members of the Young Champions group will host a session to demonstrate the work that they are doing in their communities. These demonstrations will be short clips, or PowerPoint presentations that highlight the young champions language activities, and future aspirations for themselves and their language.



From little things, big things grow: Working with partners First Languages Australia and ABC Regional

Presented by Faith Baisden and Geoff Anderson from First Languages Australia and Fiona Reynolds from ABC Regional


Presentation Type:

Breakout - Community


First Languages Australia undertakes projects that enhance language revival, maintenance and development in communities across Australia. The development of productive partnerships is key to achieving the goals of the national network.

First Languages Australia has been successful in building significant partnerships around national projects as such as the National Indigenous Languages Teaching and Employment Strategy, Media Strategy, Indigenous Languages Collection Strategy, and National Place Names Project.

This session will highlight the major projects that FLA will be collaborating on in the coming years with a focus on how we can work with partners to achieve national goals with the limited resources available. The development of our ongoing relationship with ABC Regional will be detailed as an example of how these partnerships are fostered.

The ABC Regional management team will co-present to provide insight into the benefits of the collaboration from their perspective and look to the future for how language workers can work with their ABC producers to promote the work they are doing, increase language awareness in the ABC audience, and increase the amount of language broadcast.



Cooks Legacy - The Endeavour Journals

Presented by Alberta Hornsby - Director of North Queensland Regional Aboriginal Language Centre & Loretta Sullivan - Chairperson of the Cooktown Re-enactment Association


Presentation Type:

Breakout - Community
In 2020 Cooktown will join with other nations to celebrate Cooks 1st voyage from England in 1768, across the Pacific and in 1770 the journey along the East Coast of Australia, before returning to England.  Captain Cook is not the most celebrated explorer by the first Nations Peoples of Australia, however, we have discovered that the Endeavour Journals by Cook, Banks and Sydney Parkinson recorded the first account of contact with the Endeavour river Guugu Yimithirr Bama.  From this record we have an insight  of the culture, law, language and spiritual beliefs of our Forefathers, that was vital to the survival of Cook and the Endeavour Crew.


Gabmididi Ngawala Barngarla Boogininya (Learning the Ancient Barngarla Language): The Making of the Barngarla Aboriginal Language Dictionary App

Presented by Stephen Atkinson, Emma Richards, Kaiden Richards, Darnell Richards, Kynan Hancock and Professor Ghil‘ad Zuckermann from the University of Adelaide


Presentation Type:

Breakout - Education

The reclamation of the Barngarla Aboriginal language of Eyre Peninsula, South Australia, began in 2012 with the assistance of a dictionary and brief grammar written in 1844 by Clamor Wilhelm Schürmann, a German Lutheran missionary. Most recently, the Barngarla community, Professor Ghil'ad Zuckermann and IT friends produced a Barngarla Dictionary App, which has been embraced by both the Barngarla and the general communities in their local areas. 


This presentation will explore the reclamation and reconnecting of the Barngarla Nation to their ancient traditional Barngarla language after two generations of loss of language, and the making of the app, discussing the process of development and community usage. Two areas will be highlighted, how the Barngarla Nation embraced the journey of reclaiming and reconnecting their ancient Barngarla language and how the community developed and use the Barngarla dictionary app:


(1) A Dictionary book written in 1844 by Clamor Wilhelm Schürmann, a German Lutheran missionary – in order to assist a missionary to connect and convert traditional Barngarla people and to also help the settlers communicate with the Barngarla people and end frontier wars – is now used, 170 years later, to assist the Barngarla Nation to reconnect with their heritage, culture and language. 


(2) Technology, the Barngarla language App, how a dream became a reality, the Barngarla Nation along with community can now easily access their traditional language using modern technology, what was an idea mentioned from the beginning of the reclamation project 5 years ago has now become a reality, highlighting the power of networking, knowledge sharing and language discussions.

A Holistic Approach to Revitalizing our Anaiwan Language

Presented by Callum Clayton-Dixon a founding member of the Anaiwan Language Revival Program, and a postgraduate research student at the University of New England in Armidale


Presentation Type:

Breakout - Community

In April 2016 members of the local Aboriginal community established the Anaiwan Language Revival Program. We have been left with little more than fragments of our ancestral tongue due to the wholesale dispossession of indigenous land, life and liberty on the New England Tableland. In the face of this seemingly bleak predicament, we identified and acted on the need for a concerted, community-based and community-driven Anaiwan language revitalization effort.

Our focus at this point is developing the Anaiwan Language Knowledge Book, including the first comprehensive dictionary and grammar, based on all available archival material.This process involves identifying and analyzing the data we have collected, from its morphological features to dialectal variation. Parallel to and interconnected with the Anaiwan Language Knowledge Book project, we are developing a decolonial approach to the revitalization of a dormant Aboriginal language. This holistic approach is two-pronged: addressing the roles of non-Anaiwan people, organizations (including universities) and governments in supporting the revitalization of our language; and developing a framework for Anaiwan people to decolonize our language, reinstating its fundamental role in our relationship with kin and country.

National Placenames Project

Presented by Bruce Pascoe - Aboriginal Author

Presentation Type:


Australia looks at the evidence of Aboriginal culture every day but has no idea it is doing so. Warragul, Maroochydore, Wagga, Kalgoorlie, Coober Pedy, Triabunna: our placenames are familiar and unknown at the same time. First Languages Australia intends to unite Government, Community and Tourism to bring these names to life so all Australians can know their land BUT we want our people to benefit from this knowledge. We can find the name, design the sign, erect the sign, paint the sign and tell the story to tourists. This will be a boom industry. Let’s ensure. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are at the forefront of this new and lucrative industry.

If Aboriginal people invented society, bread and agriculture the chances are they also invented language

Presented by Bruce Pascoe - Aboriginal Author


Presentation Type:


Australia explains its dispossession of Aboriginal people on the grounds that no use was made of the soil. The explorers witness of large scale agriculture has been suppressed. What might happen if Australia really begins to understand its history, the land and the fact that the First Australians invented bread, art, society and most probably language? This revolution will begin soon.

Language and Well-being: What are the links?

Presented by First Languages Australia


Presentation Type:

Breakout Session - Education

First Languages Australia is encouraging the gathering of evidence including stories and data that show the links between language activities and individual well being.
'Mayi Kuwayu: The longitudinal study of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and wellbeing' has been invited to be part of the panel. This Indigenous research team will undertake the first national survey early next year and is keen to have language centres involved in the delivery. The panel will also include a selection of language workers who are working at the intersection of languages and community health.

Torres Strait Traditional Languages Strategy

Presented by Cygnet Repu, Lizzie Lui, Dana Ober - Members of the Torres Strait Traditional Languages Advisory Committee


Presentation Type:



This presentation provides an insight into the journey of the Torres Strait region in revitalising and maintaining their traditional languages to achieve their vision “Our people speak and use our traditional languages on a daily basis for our culture, our well-being and our spirit."

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Would you like to be involved in Puliima 2017 either as a sponsor, supporter or partner?
Use the ONLINE FORM to contact us, or alternatively, call us on +61 2 4940 9100


Physical address 
840 Hunter Street
Newcastle West NSW 2302
Postal address 
P.O. Box 1778
Newcastle NSW 2300
Phone | +61 2 4940 9100  
Fax | +61 2 4940 9123

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