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Listed under:  Language  >  Natural languages  >  Australian languages

The Awabakal language of the Newcastle area

The Awabakal language, once common in the area now known as Newcastle, was almost 'lost'. It is being brought back to life using old texts and translations left by an early missionary. In this audio clip, listen to a discussion about the importance of reconstructing the Awabakal language and the challenges this poses.


Learning Dharug, Aboriginal language of Sydney

Imagine a time when the Aboriginal language Dharug was the official language spoken in the Sydney area. During this audio clip, reflect on how the language was considered almost 'lost', but (and) discover how Richard Green and others are piecing the Dharug language back together. Find out about how it is being taught at ...


Re-awakening Australian Aboriginal languages

Did you know that before colonisation there were about 250 distinct Aboriginal and Torres Strait lslander languages being spoken across Australia? Today, however, the majority of these languages are endangered. Listen to a number of significant Australians discussing the Aboriginal language situation in Australia today. ...


Teaching Aboriginal languages in schools

Would you like to learn another language? This audio recording features a number of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians discussing both the teaching of Aboriginal languages in schools and the benefits that this teaching offers all Australians.

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Preserving Aboriginal languages

Explore some of the challenges facing many Aboriginal languages and how one man is trying to preserve these 'ancient words'. Consider, too, why languages are important.

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One English language or many?

Do people around Australia all speak the same English? In this clip, explore the ways that language evolves and consider the impacts that other 'Englishes', such as British English and American English, can have on the way we speak.

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Learning some Warrgamay words

Uncle Bill welcomes us to Warrgamay Country. He shows us the animals that live in and around a natural waterhole he calls the 'swimming hole', and tells us the animal's Warrgamay names. Let's find out why Uncle Bill and his family feel happy in this place.

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Code-switching: a communication survival skill

Living in a country in which English is the dominant language, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have had to adapt the ways in which they communicate. But this isn't an easy task since there is more to language difference than the words we use. Explore this extraordinary skill in this clip, which is one in a ...

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Identity, connection and language

In many parts of Australia, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples were prohibited from speaking their languages following British colonisation in the 18th and 19th centuries. Explore the consequences of this repression for Indigenous people in both the past and the present. This clip is one in a series of six.

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Associating pidgin, creole and Aboriginal English

Languages constantly evolve. The way we speak English in Australia is very different to the way British colonists spoke two hundred years ago. Who knows what we will sound like in another two hundred years! The Aboriginal English dialect has also evolved. Explore its journey in this clip, which is one in a series of six.

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Making a mark at Hippo's Yawn

Throughout history, people have deliberately made marks in the environment, to show or say something. Why and when might these marks be misunderstood or devalued by other people? In this clip, visit a place where some marks made by contemporary Aboriginal people have been treated as graffiti while others are not. This clip ...

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Understanding Aboriginal English

Aboriginal English is a dialect that is often misunderstood. It is sometimes perceived as colloquial but in fact it has complexities that are missed by those who don't speak it. In this clip, learn more about Aboriginal languages and how British colonisation led to the development of Aboriginal English. This clip is one ...

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Discover the diversity of Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages

Marrin Gamu is a special video created by First Languages Australia to show the diversity and beauty of Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages. There are five languages featured in this clip: Kalaw Kawaw Ya, Warrgamay, Nywaygi, Yugambeh and Wiradjuri. Across Australia there are hundreds of traditional ...

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Preserving the Badimaya language

The Badimaya language covers areas ranging from Paynes Find, Ninghan Station and Mount Magnet in Western Australia, but the language is in danger of becoming extinct. How important is it to preserve a language? Watch this video to find out the importance of language to identity and culture.


May O'Brien talks about Aboriginal storytelling, 2008

This is an edited sound recording of an interview with Western Australian Aboriginal educator and author May O'Brien. O'Brien says that in her early life she was told Aboriginal stories orally and in drawings in the sand. She says that when she puts Aboriginal stories in writing, she thinks carefully about the words she ...


May O'Brien recalls the traditional bush lifestyle of her childhood, 2008

This is an edited sound recording of an interview with Western Australian Aboriginal educator and author May O'Brien. She recalls the traditional bush lifestyle of her childhood in the eastern goldfields region of WA. She describes living in comfortable humpies made from bush materials and how she was taught traditional ...


Sunset to Sunrise (Ingwartentyele - Arrerlkeme), 2006: My father's country

This clip shows Rupert Max Stuart, an Arrernte Mat-utjarra Elder, speaking beside a campfire about the importance of his culture. He emphasises the significance of his father's country, Ananta, also known as Lila Creek, while reminding the young men about the importance of their own culture. He stresses that they should ...


Merrepen, 2005: The other side of the river

This clip shows Marrfurra, a local artist, talking about the history and the present-day life of the Nauiyu Nambiyu community (formerly known as the Daly River Mission) in the Northern Territory. There is footage of the Daly River, and women collecting bush tucker and working in the Merrepen Arts Centre. Marrfurra talks ...


Embedding Indigenous perspectives across the curriculum

This website presents a range of professional learning and digital resources to support teachers in incorporating Indigenous perspectives across the curriculum. It provides resources that enable Australian teachers and students to value, understand and explore Indigenous cultures, languages, histories and stories.


Wirriya: Small Boy, 2004: School

This clip shows 7-year-old Ricco Japaljarri Martin and his classmates at an Indigenous Australian community school near Alice Springs in the Northern Territory. Ricco and his classmates are shown singing a song together and Ricco says that he 'loves to learn'. Ricco is shown with a book learning about Mexico and Nigeria. ...