A new Victorian team of specialist teachers has been saddled with the difficult task of helping to revive language on Indigenous country and in classrooms.
The nine teachers recently became the inaugural graduates of a Swinburne University pilot course on endangered Aboriginal languages, developed with First Nations groups and led by Taungurung elder Aunty Lee Healy.
Under the guidance of the linguistic expert, the teachers were equipped with the skills to teach and preserve five languages in schools, kindergartens and Aboriginal communities.
“It is important for the next generation to be able to teach their Aboriginal language on Country where it belongs and where it will always be a living language like it was for our ancestors long ago,” Aunty Healy said in a statement on Friday.
Wadawurrung woman Corrina Eccles was among the inaugural Certificate IV graduates and will teach her nation’s people at Moolap Primary School.
The state government-funded course aims to promote and support Koorie culture and tradition in Victoria as part of its 10-year Aboriginal education plan.
“We want to amplify the voices of Aboriginal Victorians and enhance the understanding of Aboriginal culture in everything we do, and part of that is ensuring endangered languages are revived and preserved,” Aboriginal Affairs Minister Gabrielle Williams said.
Koorie students are also being offered free Certificate II and III Australian First Nations Language courses under a $2.7 million, four-year investment made in the 2021/22 state budget.