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Living Language: Country, Culture, Community

Living Language: Country, Culture, Community

Marking the UNESCO International Year of Indigenous Languages.

Exhibition
Saturday 13 July 2019 to Sunday 3 May 2020
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  3. Thursday
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  4. Friday
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  6. Sunday
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  7. Monday
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Admission: Free

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Living Language: Country, Culture, Community

This exhibition celebrates the resilience of our Aboriginal languages using original documents and interviews with language custodians on Country. It has been guided by these custodians, whose knowledge and experience have enhanced and challenged our understanding of Aboriginal language materials in the Library’s collection.

Adding to the story are significant early wordlists borrowed from overseas collections. The notebook of William Dawes records not only individual words of Sydney Coastal languages, but also conversations. Some of the Awabakal language from the Newcastle region is preserved in American linguist Horatio Hale’s notebook, which returns to Australia for the first time since it was written more than 150 years ago.

The State Library is committed to supporting language initiatives and we look forward to working with many other programs and communities in the future.

 

Some of our exhibition reference group members

Contemporary photographic portrait of a man directing his gaze toward the camera.

Michael Jarrett (Gumbaynggirr, Nambucca Heads)

Michael Jarrett (Gumbaynggirr, Nambucca Heads)
Contemporary photographic portrait of a woman directing her gaze toward the camera.
Aunty Maureen Sulter (Gamilaraay, Coonabarabran)
Contemporary photographic portrait of a man directing his gaze toward the camera.
Callum Clayton-Dixon (Anaiwan, Armidale)
Contemporary photographic portrait of a woman directing her gaze toward the camera.
Rhonda Ashby (Gamilaraay/Yuwaalaraay, Lightning Ridge)
Contemporary photographic portrait of a man directing his gaze toward the camera.
Tyronne Bell (Ngunawal, Canberra)
Contemporary photographic portrait of a woman directing her gaze toward the camera.
Aunty Diane McNaboe (Wiradjuri, Dubbo)
Raymond Ingrey (Dharawal, La Perouse)

Language reference group (alphabetical order)

Rhonda Ashby (Gamilaraay/Yuwaalaraay, Lightning Ridge)

Tyronne Bell (Ngunawal, Canberra)

Caroline Bradshaw (Dhanggati, Kempsey)

Callum Clayton-Dixon (Anaiwan, Armidale)

Raymond Ingrey (Dharawal, La Perouse)

Michael Jarrett (Gumbaynggirr, Nambucca Heads)

Diane McNaboe (Wiradjuri, Dubbo)

Brad Steadman (Wahwankay/Ganngaramakay/Barrinahkay, Brewarrina)

Maureen Sulter (Gamilaraay, Coonabarabran)

UNESCO International Year of Indigenous Languages

Our Indigenous Engagement team hit the road to meet with Aboriginal Elders and language custodians across the state.
 

Living language: Aboriginal languages in New South Wales

A major exhibition opening in July at the Library will celebrate UNESCO’s International Year of Indigenous Languages.

Reclaiming our story

A contributor to the Library’s Living Language exhibition reflects on Indigenous resistance, survival, and the New England linguicide.

Aboriginal language revitalisation

Useful resources relating to Aboriginal language revitalisation.

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