Reconciliation Australia – Share Our Pride- Learn About Culture

This dynamic Reconciliation Australia website called Share Our Pride has been developed to fill a need as expressed by employers for educating their workforce about indigenous culture. Material and information has been supplied and commented on by a wide range of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representatives from around Australia. It attempts to be indicative of the multiformity of cultural expression amongst their people whilst maintaining its primary purpose as a basic introduction to the topic.

The key framework of the presentation is to give non-Indigenous people an insight into the historical and cultural journey of our First People. For my part as a new LING566 student, the various chapters have linked in with the unit’s introductory readings and provided an overview of the issues that have impinged on the subject of our unit called Australia’s Indigenous Languages. If we are to study these languages than we should attempt to understand the cultural perspective of its speakers. As Thiong’O (as cited in Giroux, 1992, p. 19) states:

The choice of language and the use to which it is put is central to a people’s definition of themselves in relation to their natural and social environment, indeed in relation to the entire universe.

The five chapters are titled: First Australians, Our Culture, Our Shared History, Beyond the Myths, and Respectful Relationships. The irony and intelligence of this beautiful multi-modal production is that it uses the language of, and a style that appeals to, the dominant culture to effect reconciliation with the concept that the original inhabitants, and by default their descendants, have been fighting a battle to survive both physically and culturally since European invasion. This website is a gracious overture to end the misunderstanding and miscommunication between two cultures. It appeals to our sense of responsibility to relate, respect and respond to fellow humans. By doing so it serves as a springboard into investigations of other issues- namely present day aspects of Australian Indigenous languages with particular reference to their linguistic and social conditions (i.e. LING566).

Giroux, H. (1992). Border crossings: Cultural workers and the politics of education. London, UK: Routledge.

[Pam Morris 13.07.14]

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