MPP Research Project Presentaion - Boundless Potential: Indigenous Languages as a Practical and Transformative Approach in the NT

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Presenter:  Charmaine Woods, Master of Public Policy (MPP) Student, Northern Institute, College of Indigenous Futures, Arts & Society, Charles Darwin University

Date: Dec 06, 2019

Time: 1:00pm to 2:00pm

Contact person:  Greg Williams
T: 08 8946 6467

Location:  Yellow 1.2.48 (Savanna Room) Casuarina Campus, Charles Darwin University

The importance of Indigenous languages to the identity and wellbeing of many Indigenous people around the world has gained traction in recent decades, with the focus recently culminating in 2019 being appointed the Year of Indigenous Languages by the United Nations. While the literature supporting the significance of Indigenous languages to their peoples is expanding, there is limited literature in relation to non-Indigenous people learning Indigenous languages, particularly in Australia. This research project explores the benefits of Indigenous languages, not only for Indigenous Australians but for the broader community, considers the history of language policy, particularly in the Northern Territory and the current language policy situation. It also aims to provide some data to address the void that is literature on non-Indigenous people learning Indigenous languages by investigating the motivations for non-Yolŋu people in undertaking Yolŋu Studies through Charles Darwin University (CDU), and how these students have been affected by their studies - professionally, personally and socially. The findings will be followed by a discussion on how these areas are relevant to policy, both for Charles Darwin University and the Northern Territory Government, and ultimately argue that language studies bring skills that are critical to both the students and employees of each organisation, with benefits that would flow to the greater community.