In Victoria, there is not much happening in regards to preserving Indigenous languages as most of them became extinct when the Europeans invaded. With that said, it is quite inspiring to hear and read about a musician named Corey Theatre who has decided to learn his ancestors’ language through music.
Gunditjmara was a Western Victorian language that has not been spoken fluently for almost 100 years. After learning Pitjantjatjara, Corey decided to start learning Gunditjmara, and now he spends most of his time reading through old papers and documents that were written by anthropologists and missionaries to learn the grammar of it in order to write songs using the language. He just released his debut album Ngathuk Ngalina (We Two) in August 2016, and he is on tour throughout Australia singing and educating others about this language.
Corey now lives in South Australia and plays a role in reclaiming the Kaurna language by writing songs in Kaurna too. This is such a creative and fun way to educate people about languages that are no longer spoken fluently.
Lauren Kerr – LING366