Four talented musicians have come together for Singing from Country, a project that aims to create music that connects people to place. Neil Murray, Kavisha Mazzella, Carl Pannuzzo and Eva Popov are the songwriters that will participate in the program where they will learn about the role of the Dja Dja Wurrung language in connecting to place, people and seasons. VACL has been involved in the Singing from Country project through linking participants to local community to provide knowledge to songwriters and through giving cultural guidance. VACL’s Executive Officer Paul Paton spoke about the importance of this project that connects language and song, “Victoria’s Aboriginal Languages reflect a deep connection to the land, providing us wisdom about how to care for it.” VACL’s Community Linguist, Kris Eira and Dja Dja Wurrung woman Rebecca Philips facilitated workshops about aspects of knowledge and language.
This is the first stage of the project, which will eventually expand across Victoria. “Music is a universal language. It tells stories. It helps communicate love for land, deepen knowledge of country and strengthen community. People singing together about country is a powerful force for uniting and galvanizing action” said Terry White, the project’s creator. This October a community gathering will provide the opportunity to share the wisdom of key knowledge holders and hear from the community where all interested community members, both from within the region and outside, are welcome to attend. The gathering will include a showcase concert where the four songwriters will unveil their songs. Local choir-leaders will then arrange and rehearse the new songs with their singing groups, culminating in a performance of the songs by choirs in a celebratory event as part of Castlemaine State Festival in March 2017.
Singing from Country launches with a Workshop and Concert as part of the 2016 Maldon Folk Festival, October 29th 2016
After several years of research, the Victorian Aboriginal Corporation of Languages (VACL) held a multi-book launch on the 10th of June to celebrate the release of three new publications. Each of these publications plays a role in celebrating VACL’s 20th year of language revival in Victoria.
The Journey Cycles of the Boonwurrung – 2nd Edition builds on the first edition written by Aunty Carolyn Briggs, and is a compilation of traditional Boonwurrung stories written with Boonwurrung Language. The book is significant in raising awareness of the connection to country, language and heritage for the people living on Boonwurrung land.
tyama-teeyt yookapa: Interviews from the Meeting Point Project is a collection of stories, reflections and hopes about Language revival in Australian Aboriginal communities extracted from a series of interviews carried out during 2009-10. It contains insights into every aspect of language revival from culture, relationships and identity, through grammar, sounds and spelling, to considerations of collaborative research and the meaning of authenticity.
The Journal of Assistant Protector William Thomas 1839-67 is to be released as a four-volume set. These books contain extensive transcribed and annotated text, images of the original text, and a volume of the Kulin language drawn from Thomas’s journals. Thomas is one of the few Europeans who described the cultural life of Aboriginal Australians with a sense of empathy; as a result his journals are one of the most important primary sources in Australian history.
The release of these new publications is part of the continuing movement to retrieve, revive and strengthen Indigenous Languages for Aboriginal people in Australia and demonstrates VACL’s continued commitment to supporting communities in the revival of Indigenous Languages for Aboriginal people in Australia.
There are many elements to starting a Language Program. We have written a guide for planning a successful program called Peetyawan Weeyn. We can visit your community to assist in the implementation and training of this guide.
We also have limited funds available to partner with communities to undertake a language project. Below are the guidelines and application form for working with us on a language project.
The current round of Community Language Partnership Program are open from 1st July 2016 to 30th June 2017