Last week on Wednesday September 2nd, Indigenous Literacy Day, Fitzroy Library visitors were treated to an Aboriginal Language Awareness Workshop presented by Wurundjeri woman and VACL Project Officer Mandy Nicholson. On a wet cold evening, more than 40 attendees enjoyed over an hour of learning more about Aboriginal Language in Victoria.
Mandy spoke about her own language journey, about links to culture and language, current language renewal projects and the state of language revival in Victoria, activities relevant to language training, the success of the Woi wurrung Language Program at Thornbury Primary School and the importance of multi-lingual education. The audience was then treated to a Woi wurrung language activity called 'aliens', followed by an extensive Q & A.
"Language was forcibly stopped and lucky we've got enough records that we can bring back our languages". - Mandy Nicholson
To read more about the Language Awareness Workshops offered by VACL click here
You can hear the full audio of the workshop here
At VACL we receive a lot of interest from non-Aboriginal people who want to learn Victorian Aboriginal languages. The situation is that the languages of Victoria are in 'revival mode'. This means that Traditional Owners still have a long way to go researching, developing and re-learning their languages, and understandably their own people come first in who gets to learn it. Possibilities are slowly starting for others who live here to learn some language. There are language programs being taught in some schools in Victoria and with permission and approval from Elders, VACL is developing a suite of digital resources to assist in learning language in the form of apps which are available to the general public.
So the short answer is, sorry but not yet. However, in response to these high volumes of enquiries VACL is now offering 'on demand' Victorian Aboriginal Language Awareness Workshops to aid interested non-Aboriginal individuals and groups in furthering their knowledge and understanding of Victorian Aboriginal languages and their use in a contemporary context.
Groups and Organisations: booking form, workshop fees and more information please click here
Individuals: for registration of interest form please click here
To hear audio from a Language Awareness Workshop at the Fitzroy Library click here
To watch a video of The Revival of Victorian Aboriginal Languages, RUIL Public Lecture at Melbourne University scroll down to the bottom of this page