The Puliima National Indigenous Language and Technology Forum took place in Melbourne this month. The event attracted over 230 people from nations across Australia as well as international guests. Energy and enthusiasm filed the William Angliss Institute as participants exchanged ideas and shared passion for language and culture.
In collaboration with KIWA, VACL hosted a KIWA SLAM workshop in the two days leading up to the conference, where a language app was produced by participants from across Australia in collaboration with the facilitators. The app was produced in six languages; Bundjalung, Dharug, Ngarrindjeri, Wonnarua, Gathang and English, and will be released on the app store soon. Other workshops and practical demonstrations explored how to create iBooks, dictionaries, recordings and teaching resources in language.
On the Wednesday and Thursday attendees were spoilt for choice with three streams of presentations that focused on community, education and technology. More than 30 presentations were offered detailing the diverse projects communities and organisations are working on with the aim of keeping language alive.
VACL participated in presentations on Learning from Experience with Vicki Couzens, Christina Eira and Tonya Stebbins from the Meeting Point Research Team based at VACL. The Ankety Map - Review of Digital Tools for Language Work presentation was made by Paul Paton from First Languages Australia and the waqdamba-nganjin wurrung presentation was made by Emma Hutchinson, Paul Paton, Mandy Nicholson and Joel Wright from VACL.
Highlights included international guests from the Santa Fe Indian School who spoke about language revival in New Mexico and presentations by the Youth Champions; nine young people who each spoke about language projects they are working on.
On the Wednesday evening of the event the famous Australia's Got Language was held with 12 acts taking to the stage. The show included outstanding performances of song, dance, poetry and comedy.
The summit enables discussions around projects, products and equipment to do with language and technology both nationally and internationally. Participants networked and collaborated on important issues at the forefront of the field. Puliima provides a stage to share successes and challenges while being reminded of the strength contained within the bigger movement dedicated to preserving and celebrating language. The word 'puliima' means 'making voice' in Awabakal language from Newcastle and Lake Macquarie where the Puliima conference started in 2007.
To download factsheets from the Meeting Point Project click here
To download the FREE app Walking on Country developed in the KIWA SLAM workshop visit the VACL App Store here
Don't have access to an iPad or iPhone? See videos of the app Walking on Country in each language at VACL's vimeo site here
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