In September 2016 VACL staff travelled via the flood diversions to Robinvale to work with VACL board member Brendan Kennedy and the Tati Tati, Mutti Mutti, Latji Latji and Wadi Wadi communities.
In a series of workshops over three days, a group of children were given the opportunity to create artwork, take photographs and record language words and songs for an upcoming app to be released featuring languages from North West Victoria.
Using iPads, cameras and art materials the children set out to illustrate close to 100 words for the upcoming Tyalingi App. The group were also recorded singing burpi, niti, partingi, thinangi (heads, shoulders, knees, toes) as part of a suite of songs which will also feature in the app. Children were then given the opportunity to individually practice and record Tati Tati, Mutti Mutti, Latji Latji and Wadi Wadi words with Brendan.
Brendan Kennedy runs the Robinvale Language Program Yakila Yarna Thalingi (Learning to Speak Language) at Robinvale P-12 College.
For more information on Yakila Yarna Thanlingi click here
Songs from Brendan Kennedy's book Wangilatha Wangu nga Kiyawatha will also feature in the upcoming app.
VACL was in Lakes Entrance on the weekend to support the first ever Ngarigo Monero Language Workshop with the Ninde Ngujarn Ngarigo Monero Aboriginal Corporation.
There were 16 participants who came from as far as Melbourne, Sydney and the south coast of New South Wales to attend the workshop.
The workshop was facilitated by Doris Paton under the guidance of Aunty Rachel Mullett, a Ngarigo Monero Elder who is still very strong in her language. The group learnt words and pronounciation that they were able to use on a daily basis, focusing on people, food and animals. The group are looking forward to having more workshops to continue practising their language skills and work towards creating learning resources in the future.
To learn more about Ngingal Training Workshops offered by VACL click here
Scroll down to see more images from the workhsop.
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
Thornbury Primary School students make giant leaps for digital language reclamation in Victoria! On Monday the 20th of April VACL launched three interactive digital storybooks at Thornbury Primary School, featuring Creation Stories of the Wurundjeri People in both Woi wurrung and English.
The release of the Apps marks Thornbury Primary School’s fourth year of commitment to teaching and learning Woi wurrung, with the support of key Wurundjeri Elders.
As part of the project 15 Indigenous students from Thornbury Primary School were selected to create illustrations and record narratives for the digital storybooks. The student’s creative use of language, art and technology has enabled the telling of Balayang Wurrgarrabil-ut (Why Bats are Black), Dulaiwurrung Mungka-nj-bulanj (How the Platypus Was Made) and Gurrborra Nguba-nj Ngabun Baanj (Why the Koala doesn’t Drink Water) to a global audience.
VACL, VAEAI and Thornbury Primary School celebrated the launch of the Apps with a special assembly at Thornbury Primary School. The assembly was attended by all students, interested parents and special guests including VACL Board Members Vince Kirby, Uncle Sandy Atkinson and Brendan Kennedy; VACL staff Paul Paton (Executive Officer), Mandy Nicholson (Project Officer & Woi wurrung Language Worker), Jenny Gibson (Administrative Officer) and Emma Hutchinson (Digital Projects Officer); Aunty Geraldine Atkinson (President VAEAI); Uncle Lionel Bamblett (General Manager VAEAI); Vaso Elefsiniotis (Policy & Research Officer VAEAI); Uncle Phil Cooper (Koorie/Woi wurrung Educator Thornbury Primary School); Julie Reid (Languages Program Manager VCAA); Maree Dellora (Languages Curriculum Manager VCAA) and Karen Mazurek (Principal Thornbury Primary School).
The development of these digital resources will support language reclamation and revitalisation activities in Victorian schools and communities. VACL would like to thank everyone who attended the launch and offer a special congratulations to all the students involved in creating these groundbreaking new resources.
The Apps are available now for FREE download at the App Store, for use on iPad (coming to iPhone soon).
For more information about the Schools Digital Resource Project click here
Last month saw the first in a series of Regional Language Forums. VACL staff headed to Swan Hill for a day of presentations and discussion about language activity happening throughout Victorian communities and schools, training workshop opportunities and issues around language revitalisation.
Look out for an upcoming forum in your area soon!
Vicki Couzen’s, VACL Board Member, lauched her first solo exhibition ‘Marooka – to take care of'’ at Maroondah Art Gallery in July. The exhibition showcased artwork, language, song, dance and ceremony “taking the audience on a journey into Gunditjmara Country” – (quoted from the Maroondah art gallery program).
As part of the exhibition Vicki Couzens and Dr Kris Eira held a free public lecture on the 12th of July during NAIDOC week, where they told their stories and connections to each other, as language workers and artists.
VACL Project Officer Mandy Nicholson performed with the Djirri Djirri dance group, and held language workshops for primary school students as part of the exhibition. To see a video clip of the students from the Village School Croydon learning to count to five in Wurundjeri with Mandy click here.
Below are a selection of photos from the exhibition.
VACL held an exciting Dhauwurd Wurrung Language Workshop for the Heywood & District Secondary College in November Last year. Over the two days, the group was introduced to the subject of language sources and language families, and by the end of the second day, were able to introduce themselves, where they came from and do a "Welcome to Country" in their own language. Communities that want to run similar workshops are encouraged to get involved with VACL.