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Pass it On: Preserving Australian Indigenous Languages

When

‘Budgerigar’, ‘quandong’, ‘Torana’, ‘Canberra’ – there are many Aboriginal words in everyday use by both non-Indigenous and Indigenous Australians. What do we gain from knowing and learning First Nations words? And how can we embed more traditional language into the daily lives of all Australians?

At least 250 Indigenous Australian languages were spoken on this continent in 1788. Today only around 120 Indigenous languages are spoken in homes and most of these are considered endangered. For many years, elders have been working hard to document, share and promote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island languages across the country. But in the United Nations International Year of Indigenous Languages there’s an especially strong momentum building around this issue.

In this conversation, hosted by Daniel Browning, our panellists including Kelrick Martin, Aaron Fa’aoso, Brendan Kennedy and Aunty Fay Stewart-Muir will discuss campaigns across the country to revitalise Indigenous languages. They’ll talk about the beauty and knowledge contained within traditional languages – and the efforts to preserve them.

This event will be Auslan interpreted.

Featuring

Daniel Browning

Daniel Browning is an Aboriginal journalist, radio broadcaster, sound artist and writer. Currently, he is produces and presents Awaye!, the Indigenous art and culture program on the ABC’s specialist journalism and arts network Radio National. Awaye! surveys contemporary Indigenous cultural pra... Read more

Aaron Fa'aoso

Aaron Fa’Aoso is best known for his appearances in ABC’s Black Comedy, which was nominated for Most Outstanding Comedy Program at the 2015 Logies and won an AACTA for Best Direction.  Aaron recently completed shooting Stephen McCallum’s feature 1% and was seen in the Nine Network drama serie... Read more

Fay Stewart-Muir

Fay Stewart-Muir is a Boon Wurrung elder of the Yalukut Weelum of the Boon Wurrung, Wamba Wamba and Wergiai clans. Stewart-Muir has worked for the Victorian Aboriginal Corporation for Languages (VACL) for over 10 years as a Cultural Educator and language specialist, specialising in the Boon Wurrung ... Read more

Kelrick Martin

Kelrick is a Ngarluma/Bunuba man from Broome, Western Australia, who started out as a cadet radio broadcaster for Goolarri Media. Moving to Sydney in 1998, he presented ABC Radio National’s Awaye! and was the inaugural presenter of ABC TV’s Message Stick. In 2002 he completed a M... Read more

Vicki Couzens

Vicki Couzens is a Gunditjmara woman from the Western Districts of Victoria. Vicki acknowledges her Ancestors and Elders who guide her work. She has worked in Aboriginal community affairs for almost 40 years. Vicki’s contributions in the reclamation, regeneration and revitalisation of cultural kn... Read more

Brendan Kennedy

Brendan Kennedy was born at Robinvale on Tati Tati Country and is a descendant of the Tati Tati, Wadi Wadi and Mutti Mutti tribal lands and language groups. Brendan is a member of the First Peoples Yulendj Group, who collaborated with Museum Victoria to produce the award-winning First Peoples exhibi... Read more

Location

The Wheeler Centre

176 Little Lonsdale Street Melbourne Victoria 3000

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Acknowledgment of Country

The Wheeler Centre acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land on which we live and work. We pay our respects to the people of the Kulin Nation and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders past and present.