There’s a piece by Noel Pearson in the Weekend Australian this week about the importance of bilingualism and the maintenance of heritage languages in general, and Aboriginal languages in particular (it’s on page 12 in the Focus section). He was saying that this is important not just for indigenous people, but also for non-indigenous people, suggesting that if you have no Aboriginal heritage yourself, then it could be a good idea to learn a bit of the language of the region you have the closest ties to. It was a very inspiring read!
All of this reminded me that I had been meaning to write a post about the Yolngu Studies course at Charles Darwin University. Yolngu language and culture can be studied entirely online, which is a huge bonus for the many of us out there who need to study by distance education. The course was established by 2011 NT Australian of the Year Michael Christie in collaboration with Yolngu elders, and in 2005 won the Prime Minister’s prize for Australia’s best university teaching program. Looks excellent!