The program for Bana Guyurru: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Language Forum 2019 was packed with presentations, workshops and discussion groups around themes such as well-being, language mapping, working with schools or learning through song.

Over the two days we explored the many ways that communities and schools are collaborating to teach their local languages; learnt about the latest tools and methods to support your work; and mingled with language legends young and old.

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Highlights included:

* A presentation from the Ma-Cha-Nja revival team. Ma-Cha-Nja is the Mpakwithi concept of the trinity of (hu)man, language and land.

* A pronunciation workshop lead by Nathan Schreiber. Nathan’s teaching skills were in action while he shared tips on how to pronounce the diverse sounds of our languages.

* Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships workshop. The Queensland Government’s Proposed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Languages Policy. A plan to see first language activities implemented across all sectors of government.

* The Department of Education bringing language teachers and Principals from around the state to the event to participate in the forum, and hold a meeting together afterward to share thier experiences and look at how to meet the needs of language teachers into the future.

* An immersion cooking class lead by Leonora Adidi and Elizabeth Fa’aoso. You may be surprised at just how much you can understand when someone is providing thoughtful instructions in a language you are yet to learn.

On Tuesday evening, the Queensland Indigenous Languages Committee invited attendees to gather for…

Yawun Yarbil, Sunset Songs

Sharing the joy of our languages in song has become a feature of our QILAC conferences and this year we invited attendees to take part in Yawun Yarbil Sunset Songs. People bought songs in thier langauges along to teach to a willing new choir (and even those not so willing were coaxed to join in), we broke into groups on the Tuesday afternoon to sing and play with song together. Afterwards as we shared relaxing evening drinks and nibbles, the groups took turns to sing up what they had learned earlier.


There was an excellent media response with Bumma Bippera Radio broadcasting live from the event, the ABC attending to record their station IDs in each of the languages represented, and the State Library of Queensland and North Queensland Regional Language

Full Program