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12th Australian Languages Workshop held at Stradbroke Island

Gary Williams and Anna Ash travelled to Stradbroke Island to attend the 12thAustralian Languages Workshop, hosted by the School of Languages and Comparative Cultural Studies, University of Queensland and held at their Moreton Bay Research Station.  Thanks Felicity Meakins and Myf Turpin for a fabulous weekend of interesting linguistics and yarning up.

Gary and Anna travelled with Terry Lowe, a Bundjalung woman from Grafton who is studying the Masters of Indigenous Languages Education at the University of Sydney.  The workshop is a great opportunity for linguists and students of Aboriginal languages to share recent research, socialise and network.  Several people commented that Aboriginal linguists and students were there in greater numbers than ever before: a positive sign for the future of Aboriginal languages!

There were many fascinating talks, covering all aspects of linguistic research, including those areas where it overlaps with such areas as Country, stories, geology and Information Technology Jeanie writes: The talk I gave was part of my PhD which is part of an ARC project on ‘Skin and Kin through Aboriginal languages’ based at ANU.  I am specifically looking at historical documents to revisit the Section and Moiety names from SE Qld which is basically the same as the Kamilaroi system and probably other language groups on the East Coast. I am particularly focussing on Cherbourg community a former government reserve and still under the control of the local/state and Federal governments.  It also looks like the Kabi side are matrilineal through totem and section/skin names and the Wakka are Patrilineal descent but with the Totem and skin name through the Mother again.  According to some writers this is common in many places.

Aunty Donna Ruska, an Elder from Stradbroke, visited the workshop to catch up with friends like Gary Williams. Photo by Terri Lowe.