What is PULiiMA?
PULiiMA means 'making voice' in the Awabakal language, the traditional language of Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and Lower Hunter.
PULiiMA Indigenous Language and Technology Conference is a biennial event aimed at bringing people together from all over Australia and internationally to explore pioneering project ideas and exciting products and equipment that can be used in community based Indigenous languages projects. The conference allows people to network with an inspirational group of people who all share a common ambition of preserving and celebrating the languages of your country.
Previously the conference has been held in Newcastle in 2007, Melbourne in 2009, Brisbane in 2011 and Melbourne in 2013 and 2015 and has been highly successful according to the feedback received. This is in part due to the emphasis on keeping a relaxed community feel, with the majority of the presentations being given by Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people about their own projects or concepts. PULiiMA is the largest community focused national Aboriginal language conference in Australia. The conference is packed with practical demonstrations and workshops facilitated by local, interstate and international experts.
The last few years have seen the forum continue to develop and expand; with numbers of 80 at the first conference in 2007 and now numbers of over 300 registrations for PULiiMA 2017. This demonstrates how the conference continues to develop; the number of delegates continues to grow and the features of the forum continue to diversify.
Image Credit Katherine Soutar
Originally the conference ran over two days and has now expanded to 5 full days including a two day workshop, preceding the conference, of intensive training delivered by key language organisations who are supporting the revitilisation and dissemination of languages at both state and national level. The conference also hosts Special Events on the 5th day including state language meetings and training workshops.
If you are working in a language program or language centre, or if you are a community member who is passionate about the preservation and revitalisation of Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages don't miss the next PULiiMA Conference to be held in 2019.
From our survey results, 90% of delegates rated the PULiiMA Conference as a MUST ATTEND for Indigenous people involved in the maintenance and conservation of all languages!
Tree and Artwork Symbolism
The tree is a symbol of antiquity (traditional times) and strength (empowerment of our people).
A tree stump or tree trunk may be used as a symbol of re-growth and rebirth, especially when it is shown with branches spouting new leaves (reclamation and revitalisation of traditional languages).
Trees are nature's warrior, who despite great imbalance in odds, fights to keep a foothold in the most extreme conditions (the fight to keep our traditional languages alive).
A sense of belonging is something many people strive to achieve in a community. The tree with its firm base symbolises that concept of 'roots' and an element of an ongoing relationship with our surroundings (touches on connection to country, our culture, our roots & our Aboriginal heritage).
The drive to find an historic link with our present lives is almost instinctive and propels us forward as if on a quest to attain status and find a reason for being (identity).