I have lived and worked in the Goldfields all my life and have a grown family. I have travelled all over WA and other states and met many people who work in the language & culture areas.
Its vitally important that we remember that the younger generations are our future and so too are our Elders, who we must listen to and hear their stories being told. I am involved in a range of voluntary community work.
I intend to continue in the struggle to fight for justice and our rights to have our languages recognised and acknowledged as the first languages of this Nation.
I am a Gunai/ Monaro Ngarigo woman, mother and grandmother whose family lives and works in Gippsland. My life is strong in culture and family, these are the cornerstone to who I am. I have grown up knowing language and cultural knowledge from both my mother and father country. I speak language from both Gunai and Monaro Ngarigo and I have been teaching language in context in our community program to children and adults for 8 years.
I have been an active committee member to the Victorian Aboriginal Corporation for Languages for the past 4 years and the Victorian State Representative in an executive position on FATSIL for 4 years. I look forward to continuing the work of reviving our languages.
I am from the Palawa nation; my family (Riley) come from Cape Barren Island & Flinders Island Tasmania. I have lived in South Australia for the past 8 years working in both metropolitan and remote communities. I understand past historical grief & loss and how this continues to impact the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) communities across the country. My observations having worked in various communities at various levels that people need to identify what they have lost to discover why they are grieving. Its only when we identify the grief we can then start the healing process. The loss may be language, cultural practices, land, loss of family / stolen generation and spiritual connectiveness.In these modern times these losses impact on every day life and the grief spans across all areas of our communities.
Lack of Housing impacts in a variety of ways, overcrowding, transience, availability affordability and quality. Also issues of neighbourhood feuding and racism
Health issues include chronic disease, life span, preventative measure/illnesses, services, availability, accessibility, depression and self medicating
Major social issues affecting ATSI people today include education, employment, incarceration, substance use, culture, family violence, poverty
Remote communities having poor access to affordable good quality nutritional foods
The way forward is to develop partnerships and share resources. Look at what has been working well and what hasn’t. Involve local people in the development of strategies and the decision making process. This creates ownership and leadership opportunities for ATSI communities. Services both Government and non Government need to become the enablers; to ensure that there are opportunities for families and communities to take the lead role in creating healthy choices. Those of us who work in communities need to become the conduits between Government agencies and local communities. Also we need to be responsible in training and mentoring our young leaders; so that they may walk between the two worlds of Western society and their traditional cultural heritage. We must promote, preserve and maintain our languages and cultural practices at every opportunity.
I hold membership and actively participate in various organisations:
Board member Federation Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Languages Culture (Corp)
Board Member Turkindi Indigenous Information Network Association SA
Port Adelaide Enfield City Council Aboriginal Advisory Panel SA
Aboriginal Health Research Ethics Committee SA
Graduate Diploma Indigenous Health (Substance Use)
Diploma Psychophysical Integration Therapy
Australasian Academy of Natural Science Certified
Business Management Certified 2
I am a 56 year old Meriam (from Mer Island) Torres Strait. I have a wife, five daughters and seventeen grand- children. I have been studying my language for the past four years formally at the Batchelor Institute in Northern Territory and with Meriam Elders on Mer – getting to speak Meriam Mir (the name of the Meriam language)fluently.
I work for my local council on various projects and I am heavily involved with community work. This year (2006) I have enrolled at Curtin University to undertake a degree in Indigenous Community Management and Development Program – which I feel will strengthen my community involvement. I have been involved with community organisations since 1972 but I always look forward to learning new things every day from Elders and youth I associate with.
My vision for the future is to continue assisting my community and to preserve my language and culture which is the catalyst of my identity. Language is very important to me as it is a divine gift from the Creator. I hope in some way that all of us at FATSIL continue to work towards preserving and maintaining our diversified languages of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples of Australia.
Education Officer for the Koori Heritage Trust. John is a Bangerang man, who has been involved in language programs for many years.
John is a founding member of Victorian Aboriginal Languages Corporation.
In Victoria we have seen communities take language programs from a stage of retrieval and revival, right up to producing dictionaries and actually teaching the language. That has been a very worthwhile process even though we still have only a small number of communities involved. It’s really important that we continue to support and encourage our communities in this work. I’ve recently rejoined the FATSIL committee after a few years away, and I find the changes very exciting. The future looks good.
I became involved with Aboriginal languages, Gumbaynggirr in particular, in a formal sense when I, and several others, attended classes at Sherwood, near Kempsey, in 1990 being run by Br. Steve Morelli. After graduating we attempted to set up a part-time language class at Macksville TAFE and then applied for accreditation through VETAB for a full-time language which started at Nambucca Heads – Muurrbay Aboriginal Language & Culture Cooperative in 1997. I have been employed as Chairperson / teacher since 1997.
I have been attending language conferences in this capacity on a regional, State and Federal level ever since. I, through Muurrbay, have been involved with the formulation of the Aboriginal Language Policy for the NSW Government and its subsequent translation into a syllabus for NSW schools that was done by the Board of Studies. In my time with FATSIL I have seen the growth in NSW of interest in language revival and Muurrbay has always placed itself in a position to talk to and offer advice to people interested in language revival. Muurrbay is now conducting classes in local schools from pre-school to High School as well as TAFE at CHEC – Coffs Harbour Education Campus.
My name is Lois Blackman and I am a Goorang Goorang / Gurang woman who lives in the city of Bundaberg. I am currently secretary of the board on the Gurang Land Council and
have held this position for 18 months. I also sit on various other Cultural Heritage organisations in the central Queensland districts. I believe language is an important part of our culture and one of my goals is to involve more of our community in the revival and maintenance of our indigenous languages.
As a committee member I strive towards having a culture which would include our language in its full entirety for our children to inherit.
Sahardi Garling from Katherine, NT has been a member of the Diwurruwurru-Jaru Aboriginal Corporation for a number of years.
His work with the committee has involved supporting the research and recording of languages, interpreting services, school and community based language teaching programs and exploring new ideas for use in language and culture programs. Sahardi has a strong focus on supporting youth in his area, and sees the promotion of language and culture as vital to developing self esteem in the local community.