RNLD aims to advance the sustainability of Indigenous languages and to increase the participation of Indigenous peoples in all aspects of language documentation and revitalisation through training, resource sharing, networking, and advocacy. Through our activities, we contribute to the holistic health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities by providing direct relief from the suffering and distress that arises from the loss of Indigenous languages and the consequent alienation from cultural heritage and Indigenous identity.

Our services

Training— we partner with Indigenous communities and organisations to develop capacity in language documentation and revitalisation through the Documenting and Revitalising Indigenous Languages program. Our flexible training materials and practices ensure that the skills which people gain are used, retained and shared more widely within a community.

Resources— we disseminate information about conferences, funding opportunities, education and training programs, policies, publications, film, theatre, radio and television, news, and the methods and technologies needed to document, archive, revitalise and maintain indigenous languages.

Networking— we facilitate international networking through our active email discussion list, Facebook group, and Twitter profile, support for the Endangered Languages and Cultures blog, and links to other blogs and networks. Archived RNLD discussions are publicly accessible and searchable through the Linguist List.

Advocacy— we advocate on issues such as bilingual education, Indigenous literacy, language policies and recognition for Indigenous peoples, raise awareness through public events on occasions such as International Mother Language Day, and organize informal gatherings for linguists and community language activists.

 

DRIL workshop highlights

This month, we're highlighting workshops held in Launceston, Tasmania, Kununurra, Western Australia, and Halls Creek, Western Australia in June 2014.

DRIL trainer Emma Murphy and RNLD volunteer Katerina Forrester went to Launceston at the start of June for RNLD's first workshop with the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre. They worked with teams from across Tasmania. Each group works with children or young people and learnt new ways to incorporate language into their work.

The training group spent a lot of time outdoors, learning how to draw on the natural environment to teach language. On day two, they went to Cataract Gorge where each team presented a language activity it had designed the day before: the immersion activities ranged from games and basic maths to traditional painting with ochre.

Later in June, Emma joined forces with Kimberly Language Resource Centre operations manager Carolyn McAdam, to deliver a workshop at the Mirima Dawang Woorlab-gerring Language and Culture Centre in Kununurra, Western Australia. The workshop focused on introductory linguistics – looking at the Australian languages map and discussing languages of the region.  There was a lively discussion about the strength of the Miriwoong language, and the team planned some language immersion activities to focus on over the coming period.

From Kununurra, Carolyn and Emma went to Halls Creek where they were joined by RNLD/RUIL volunteer Erin Barnes for a two day workshop at the Kimberley Language Resource Centre. This workshop included speakers of Jaru (a Pama-Nyungan languages) and Gija (a non-Pama-Nyungan language). Participants enjoyed exploring and contrasting the two very different languages, as they planned activities - and hunted for language - in both. The workshop was a combination of linguistics, learning about the Master-Apprentice Language Learning Program and then putting it into practice by planning immersion activities and language projects.

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