Puliima 2015, was the fifth Indigenous Language and Technology conference, held this October 12th-16th in Melbourne, Victoria. Puliima is a biennial event aimed at bringing people together from all over Australia to explore pioneering project ideas, exciting products and equipment that can be used in community based Indigenous languages projects. The Forum allows people to network with an inspirational group of people who all share a common ambition of preserving and celebrating the languages of your country.
Thanks to a special professional development grant from the Indigenous Languages Support program, Muurrbay staff and language workers/teachers from several language groups: Bundjalung, Dhanggati, Gathang and Wanarruwa attended Puliima Aboriginal Languages and technology Conference 2015. On being told that I was going, I was very excited, I couldn’t wait to see and hear all the different languages from all over this great country of ours.
Monday and Tuesday we had extensive workshops on How to Create Optimal Recording by Melbourne University, Create a Dictionary by Miromaa Aboriginal Language & Technology Centre, Master-Apprentice Language Learning Program by Resource Network for Linguistic Diversity and last but not least Developing Language Resources for Schools & Communities by Sharing Culture-Teaching & Learning Program, I found these workshops were presented well and very informative
on the resources out there for people to use, a few that I would use in my capacity as Language Teacher for Muurrbay Aboriginal Language & Culture Co-op.
Wednesday was the start of the Puliima Conference 2015 in earnest and if I wasn’t excited enough on Monday, today was even better seeing all the different countries represented by their people and feeling in awe of our commitment to Our Languages. The Master of Ceremonies was Phillemon Mosby from Poruma Island in the Torres Strait, Phillemon was very inspiring in his opening speech and he made me feel privileged to be there, I had goose bumps and a few tears all through his opening speech INSPIRING.
I went to all the technical workshops on Wednesday and Thursday, I found them to be informative on their product/apps, I was and am motivated to get my Gumbaynggirr Language out there to the youth of our Gumbaynggirr Country. Muurrbay staff Michael Jarrett and Julie Long presented on Learner friendly language teaching and received great feedback on their fun and effective teaching methods. On closing I would like to thank Miromaa Aboriginal Language & Technology Centre who made the Puliima Conference very enjoyable and informative. Maxine Jarrett.
Terrie Lowe’s Report
Overall the Conference was a great success. Networking and sharing of ideas is significant in hearing our language in everyday life.
Workshop: Language in Song – presented by Joy Bonner, Leonora Adidi, Ethel Munn, Bridget Priman, Melinda Holden and Faith Baisden. Their work involved documenting their journey to create a CD – Yamani – Voices of an Ancient Land. This was awe inspiring to listen and watch how these women came together to sing their own language. Vocal coach Kristina Kelman instructed the women of singing techniques, as all stated they had no idea how to sing. Well, they proved they could with some instructions and sang beautifully. The fun, laughter and sharing of culture and language called to these women. Songs were sung from long ago and others were written from their language. After the video all participants were given a quick lesson on vocals and handouts were given and we sung along with the women. Our voices could be heard loud and clear across the auditorium and further afield I’m sure. Once again adding the “rich and beautiful sounds of hundreds of different languages that washed across this land”(CD). Singing is beneficial to one’s health and spiritual well-being and a fun way to learn language.
Terrie Lowe – Language Worker