Blog: Indigenous Australian Languages
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As a part of AIATSIS’ Ngunawal Revival Project, we assisted in writing an acknowledgment of country in Ngunawal, which PM Malcom Turnbull has said in Parliament. But on what other occasions have Indigenous Australian languages been used in Parliament?
I had been living and working in western Arnhem Land since the late 1980s and had learned languages which linguists now collectively refer to as Bininj Kunwok, so the obvious thing to do was to record the stories in the first language of those people who had expert knowledge about ngurrurdu or kurdukadji ‘the emu’.
For many years, AIATSIS has been looking after Arthur Capell’s archive of over 230 reels that contain language recordings.
Archives, or manuscript collections, form over time. In the process, a structure develops, a shape which reflects the way the content has been created and organised.