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May 2007 in Bourke

Western Region Sharing Workshop

Overview and presentations

A two-day Board of Studies Western Region Aboriginal Languages Workshop was held in Bourke 15–16 May 2007. It was hosted by Bourke High School and attended by government and Catholic schools in Bourke, Brewarrina, Hillston, Wilcannia and Walgett. The Board of Studies coordinated a range of participants and presenters for the workshop, including elders and other community members, Aboriginal community languages teachers, Aboriginal education consultants, school staff and linguists supporting school programs. The aims of the workshop were to:

  • strengthen the Aboriginal languages program team in each school
  • develop linguistics knowledge and share languages with others in the region
  • learn effective ways of learning and teaching language and culture
  • share programming ideas with other schools.

A highlight of the workshop was the series of sessions which showed connections between the sound systems, vocabulary and grammar of Aboriginal languages represented in the room. Although the workshop participants were involved in programs for different parts of the Western Region, the languages have common structures and features. This information is important for language revitalisation by Aboriginal communities. It is also part of one of the objectives (Making Linguistic Connections) of the Aboriginal Languages K–10 Syllabus.

Another highlight was the launch of the CD-ROM Aboriginal Languages of NSW, an introduction for schools and communities by the NSW Minister for Aboriginal Affairs. The CD-ROM contains guides to resources and organisations working on language revitalisation, sample word-lists from 20 languages, sound files to assist pronunciation and a map of Aboriginal languages of NSW. The Board of Studies assisted with some of the content for this resource. It is available from the NSW Department of Aboriginal Affairs.

Workshop participants

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