Category Archives: Activities

Unlocking a mystery

Decades after many of the language materials created at Gunbalanya were sent to the tip (only to be rescued by the local missionary and later sent to the Living Archive), a locked filing cabinet in the school (with no sign of a key) remained. Sue Reaburn was present at its unlocking and shared the story and photos with us.

Although no one knew what the filing cabinet contained, it was known to contain treasures of the past. To be sure it contained nothing secret or sacred, Joseph, an elder, took each drawer down the back of the room and systematically checked through it, removing anything he thought was inappropriate for full public viewing.

Among the things it contained was copies of old mission records, discs of images from the past with catalogues, old books some of them very rare related to Gunbalanya. While much of it had been through a flood, that which was considered worthy of preserving digitally was bought back to Darwin to be digitised either by LAAL or the Aboriginal Education Heritage Program. Digital copies of everything are being returned to the community, the final resting place of the important historical material is still being decided by the Gunbalanya School Council.

Gunbalanya_filing_cabinet (2)  Gunbalanya_filing_cabinet (4)

Gunbalanya_filing_cabinet (3) Gunbalanya_filing_cabinet (5)

Creative Commons workshop

Investigating the use of Creative Commons licenses with Indigenous language materials Northern Institute, Charles Darwin University
March 29-30, 2016
Workshop report

Thanks to a small grant from the Faculty of Law, Education, Business and Arts (LEBA) at Charles Darwin University, granted to the Northern Institute (Cathy Bow) and the School of Law (David Price), an expert in the area of Copyright law and Creative Commons was invited to facilitate a two-day workshop in Darwin in March.

Our invited guest, Dr Anne Fitzgerald is a barrister who has practised, taught and researched in the areas of intellectual property law, internet/e-commerce law and international trade law for more than 20 years. She was a key part of  Creative Commons Australia’s engagement with the Australian public sector,  which resulted in Creative Commons licences being adopted as the default copyright licence by the Australian federal government. On this visit to Darwin, Anne was accompanied by another experienced IP and crown lawyer, Neale Hooper, who has also been heavily involved in the Australian arm of Creative Commons and its implementation across government departments.

Workshop participants were invited from partner agencies of the Living Archive of Aboriginal Languages project (Northern Territory Library, NT Department of Education, Batchelor Institute, CDU Library), as well as other interested parties (ACIKE, ARDS, SIKPP (Yolngu Studies), iTalk Library, NAAJA, Northern Institute).  There were 23 participants on Tuesday and 16 on Wednesday.

Dr Fitzgerald presented a helpful overview of Creative Commons (CC) and the six CC licenses available, and how they align with copyright law and facilitate the remix and reuse of digital materials. There was information about how the licenses have been used across different sectors in government and research, and some cases where the validity of the licenses had been tested and approved. There was a demonstration of some of the tools available for facilitating the use of CC licenses and appropriate attribution. David Price from CDU’s School of Law gave a useful overview of copyright law and how it relates to Traditional Knowledge (TK) and Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property (ICIP), which was highly relevant to the participants.

The remainder of the workshop focused on specific case studies, where participants were able to share from their own experience some of the challenges and concerns they have about using CC licenses. Cathy Bow shared in detail about the Living Archive of Aboriginal Languages, and the challenges involved in the decision to use a CC-BY-NC-ND license to promote engagement with the materials while respecting their integrity. Kerry Blinco from NT Library presented on their Community Stories project, and tried to separate some issues which are often grouped together, such as copyright, moral rights, ICIP, conditions of use, access control (secret/sacred/sorrow), cultural warning and metadata. Hannah Harper from ARDS presented on the importance of developing a shared vocabulary to discuss issues of ownership and copyright with Yolŋu people, before presenting a particularly interesting case about a film project which raised some thorny issues about ownership and IP. Karen Manton from Batchelor Institute spoke about the CALL collection and their focus on preservation, access, growth, promotion, and supporting community activities to preserve, maintain and revive culture and language practices. She identified some of the concerns they face in the digitisation project and the website project, and their reasons for not using Creative Commons, in order to include specific protocols.

The discussion of specific projects and issues was most helpful, as it connected the general issues of CC and copyright law to specific practices, and the input from two very experienced lawyers in this area was most valuable. There is room within CC licensing to include reference to specific protocols for respecting ICIP, however these protocols are not enforceable by law. Both Anne and Neale pointed out that practice often precedes policy, as was their experience with the implementation of CC licensing with public sector information leading to official announcements about open data in government. As our projects establish best practice, we can create new norms which can then influence government policy. It was agreed that the discussion about these issues should continue, with plans for a conversation circle to meet regularly to enable ongoing work in this space.  There is potential for a larger project exploring how this may happen on a wider scale.

In addition to the two-day workshop, Dr Fitzgerald also presented a public lecture as part of the Open Territory program, hosted by Northern Territory Library and sponsored by the Northern Institute.  The audience came from business, government and education, and were given an overview of how different sectors have used CC licensing to enable the opening of huge quantities of data, and the benefits of this across a number of areas.

Thanks to our presenters, Anne Fitzgerald and Neale Hooper, and all the workshop participants for an excellent event. Special thanks to LEBA for the small grant funding which allowed the event to occur, and to the Northern Institute for their support and assistance.

CC workshop

LAALcomp ibooks entries

A number of entries into the LAALcomp used iBooks Author to create their entries. These files only play on Apple devices but you can download them here and play them on your own device. WARNING – the files are very large!

GitkitGitkit ga Wäḻuŋu (iBooks) in Warramiri from Gäwa (Elcho Island)

From the author: “This is an important story for Warramiri people. It teaches the kids how to speak language. I recorded an old lady telling the story, then wrote the text and recorded it. Ranhdhakpuy drew the pictures, and Colin put it together using iBooks author.”

Ngay_kaNgay-ka ngurrinidha ku kurnern-nu in Murrinh-Patha from Wadeye (ZIP file – 21Mb)

From the author: “I was taken for mussels in mangroves by a family and I was amazed at the children’s ability to spot the mussels camouflaged in the mud. I thought it was a fun way to use the hunting trip as a way of introducing counting to the very early years. I took photos on the trip and reduced the size in Photoshop. I used ibooks author to create the digital story and at the end used widgets from ibooks Author and iAd producer to give some interactive activities for the children.”

MiyernuMiyernu nangkal nukun in Murrinh-Patha from Wadeye (ZIP file 26 Mb)

From the author: “It is a fun, inquisitive text for very early years. I typed the text, then an artist drew pictures. I scanned them and reduced the size in Photoshop. I used ibooks author to create the digital story and at the end used widgets from ibooks Author, Bookry and iAd producer to give some interactive activities for the children.”

LAALcomp wrap-up

The competition has closed, the results are in, the winners are announced. Here’s a short recap of the Living Archive’s Digital Story Competition.

UPDATE – listen to ABC Darwin’s report about the competition!

The competition launched in May 2015, thanks to a bequest from a longtime supporter of Indigenous education, who requested that donations to the Living Archive project be made in lieu of flowers at her funeral in December 2014. The project team wanted that money to go to something that would engage people in the stories contained in the archive, so the idea of a competition was birthed.

Many people who look at our archive enjoy seeing the stories, and often ask Can we listen to them? Sadly our project doesn’t have the capacity to record or digitise audio and video files that go with the stories (although we know there are a lot out there!), so we’re always looking for ways to add multimedia recordings. And we know that there are many very creative people around, with access to useful tools to create interactive materials. Since we are creating a living archive, we wanted to make sure that the original story owners approved the entries, so entrants had to get signed permission from the creators.

The entries were slow to come in – not surprisingly with the busyness of the school year – so we extended the deadline by two weeks. In the end we had 13 valid entries. The competition was open to anyone in Australia, but interestingly, almost all came from remote communities in the NT. One was from WA but the teacher had connections with an author in a remote NT community where she used to work, and another designer contacted a community to get permission.

The instructions were very general, allowing any combination of text, image and audio. As a result, the entries represented many different presentation styles, including:

  • a teacher reading a story directly from the book
  • an animated video created by year 3/4 students with narration in English and language
  • a video of children ‘acting out’ parts of a story in the playground
  • a video mixing pages from the book with simple ‘stop-motion’ animation using toys
  • an animated video with English subtitles
  • a recording with props and a bright background, followed by a song
  • a narrated Powerpoint presentation read by the author
  • ibooks with audio components and fantastic graphics
  • a website with animated video and a recording of a class performance at assembly

Three judges were invited to assess the entries:

  • Bruce Pascoe – Indigenous author from Victoria, winner of the Prime Minister’s Literary Award in 2013, advocate of Indigenous languages
  • Dr Kevin Gillan – Executive Director of Education Partnerships with NT Department of Education
  • Jeanie Bell – Indigenous linguist and senior lecturer at Batchelor Institute

They were asked to judge according to the following criteria:

  • Presentation: The layout and format support the content
  • Usability: the entry is easy to open and view, doesn’t crash or freeze
  • Engagement: The entry is creative and engages the audience
  • Enhancement: The digital story enhances the original PDF
  • Technical skills: The entry makes good use of the available technology
  • Overall: The entry is well-compiled and complete

All the judges spoke highly of the entries they viewed, praising their creativity and the work that went in to creating these multimedia resources. some of their comments include:

  • A very impressive collection of stories brought to life through digital technologies”
  • “The high level of student participation in their development is to be commended.”
  • “Beautifully illustrated and excellent animation”
  • “It was interesting to note the number of entries that used a number of multimedia tools in their approach.”
  • “A fantastic way to engage students, community and school staff in developing a creative approach in the celebration and use of local languages.”
  • “It was a real honour to be asked to watch and listen to these stories”

cdu:31312When the judges’ scores were added up, we found that we had a tie for first place! And surprisingly, both entries were for the same story – a delightful tale of three clams, called 
Ḏiŋ’ Ḏaŋ’ ga Ḏoŋ’
. You can see both entries here – click on the URL (bottom right) for the Shepherdson College entry, and click ‘watch’ (above the cover picture) for the FaFT entry.

Congratulations to the FaFT Playgroup at Galiwinku and Ellemor 8 at Shepherdson College who will share the $1000 prize pool between them.

Thanks to all the entrants for your fantastic contributions.

All the entries are now available here, as well as being added to their corresponding books in the Living Archive.

Nemarluk School visit

mascotAt the invitation of teacher Kristie Moseley, Trish Joy and Cathy Bow from the Living Archive project visited Nemarluk School in Stuart Park. Nemarluk School is a Northern Territory Department of Education and Children’s Services school for children who require specialised and individualised educational programs. Kristie’s class has a number of Indigenous students and she tries to incorporate Indigenous stories and knowledge into her classes as much as possible.


We told the students about the many different languages of the Northern Territory and how even though write with the same letters as English, the words are hard to read if you don’t know how to speak the language. We showed them some Anindilyakwa words, which are really long, and we showed them where Anindilyakwa is spoken on Groote Eylandt on the Living Archive poster map.

an0022Trish then read a story from Groote Eylandt about the Crocodile and Blue Tongue Lizard, which talks about how the animals made their homes but then got into an argument and now they have different habitats.  The story was told by a great old storyteller who has since passed away, and the pictures were drawn by children in schools at Angurugu, Umbakumba and Bickerton Islands.

Nemarluk_10_cropThen the children chose animals and made their own pictures about where the animals live and what they eat, then they shared some of the traditional Aboriginal stories they’d done in class previously.

We looked at some more books on the Living Archive website, showing how they can find books by language or place, and they can download and print the books to look at in class, or their families can look at them on their phones or computers. We showed them where to find the English translation if there is one (usually at the end of the story), and talked about how difficult it can be to translate from one language to another. The kids were able to understand some of the Kriol story we read to them, and they repeated some of the words we heard from a Dhuwaya story.

Thanks to Kristie, Rina, Amanda and all the lovely kids at Nemarluk for welcoming us, and we look forward to hearing more stories about how you’ve used materials from the Living Archive in your classes. Nemarluk_22



An open and shut case?

At the Puliima National Indigenous Language & Technology Forum, a panel was convened to discuss “Protecting rights and promoting access to Indigenous language materials.” The panelists were Cathy Bow from the Living Archive of Aboriginal Languages at Charles Darwin UniversityKaren Manton from the Centre of Australian Languages and Linguistics at Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary EducationDes Crump, the Indigenous Languages Coordinator at the State Library of Queensland, and Sandra Morrison from the Warumungu community around Tennant Creek area.

Puliima_panel_WPCathy opened the discussion with some background about how digital technology has led to a huge increase in the creation and publication of Indigenous language materials, and while this gives rise to many opportunities, it also creates new challenges. Indigenous and non-Indigenous perspectives on intellectual property differ in some aspects, for example the focus in Western copyright law on the protection of individual rights, while Indigenous tradition favours community and corporate ownership of knowledge and stories. In addition, there is a lack of legal recognition to the rights of Indigenous people to owning the intellectual property contained in some materials for which copyright may belong elsewhere.

Living Archive of Aboriginal Languages

Cathy spoke of the experience of the Living Archive, where the majority of the material has been sourced from NT government schools which had bilingual education programs, and as such the copyright belongs to the NT government. However, the license given by the government to digitise and publish the materials online does not require any input from the Indigenous owners of the stories (including authors, illustrators, etc). While their moral rights are protected by copyright law, the project team wanted to ensure that people were happy with their material being made available on an open access website, so have been attempting to find all the contributors named in the books (or families of those who have passed away) and asking them to sign a permission form.

With regard to access issues, materials are available on the Living Archive site under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivs 3.0 License Australia, which allows users to share the material, as long as they attribute the source, don’t use it for any commercial purposes, and don’t share any derivative materials. This last point is somewhat problematic, in balancing the desire to promote access and engagement with the stories in the archive, while also protecting them from misuse. For example, the LAAL Digital Story Competition invites people to engage with the materials in the archive, and stipulates that any derivatives must be approved by the story owners and communities.

A particular challenge in this collection relates to materials that do not name the people involved in the creation of the work. This means it’s not known who can give permission. In some cases, people in the community know who was involved, so the team is trying to collect some of that information. Also, for materials that were not produced in NT government schools, it is necessary to seek a license from the copyright holders, which may be another institution (such as the Catholic Education Office or AuSIL for example). These processes can be time-consuming, but the team thinks they are important in showing respect for both the Western and Indigenous practices of intellectual property.

Puliima_panel_KMCALL Collection – Batchelor Institute

Karen spoke about Batchelor Institute’s CALL Collection, an archive of Indigenous language materials. Over 40 years, students, staff, linguists, language workers and speakers who want to preserve language and resources for the future have contributed to the Collection. As such it is grounded in good will and relationships. Making items more accessible and growing digital language resources for people is a key focus for the future, and so plans for digitisation and a website are under way.

Among the many issues about consent and access for the Collection, three arise across most activities and reflect the many different people and organisations who have connections with a work — Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property (ICIP), moral rights and copyright.

ICIP is the broadest ground, encompassing many works and expressions of culture, including language, and communal, ongoing ownership and rights that aren’t protected by copyright or moral rights. ICIP and consultation with communities, creators, past students and contributors is the starting point for a permission strategy, because these are the people and the ground from which all the works in the Collection have come. Moral rights and copyright are considerations that follow on from and need to be addressed in addition to rather than in opposition with the wider scope of ICIP. For example the Collection’s partnership with LAAL works within exceptions in the Copyright Act, but ICIP and moral rights still have to be addressed, and people’s individual, family or community wishes and consent have to be sought and might redirect a decision or approach.

With these considerations in mind, the CALL Collection is working with Terri Janke and Company to develop cultural protocols and copyright and end user licence agreements, as well as creator, ICIP and community agreements for the digitisation and website project.

Above all the Collection is about those who have created it through their language and materials. During the digitisation and website project the Collection hopes to rekindle those relationships and interests of past and present students and language speakers (like Sandra Morrison on this panel) who have contributed and are keen to contribute to the Collection into the future, and be the guides about permission pathways and access.

State Library of Queensland – Indigenous Languages CollectionPuliima_panel_DC_crop

Following on from previous points on legal issues, Des focused on the personal aspects of digitising materials in collections. Drawing on State Library collection items, Des raised the notion of moral obligations to communities and families.

One such example was the Archibald Meston Papers collected when Meston was the Chief Protector of Aborigines, Queensland. Meston collected language and cultural knowledge from Aboriginal people across Queensland – due to the imbalance of power, it would be difficult to ascertain whether this information was provided freely or under duress and the threat of being removed. While the Meston material may be out of copyright, the information is about real people; hence there is a moral obligation on the State Library to treat the materials respectfully.

Another example was a State Library project that involved the creation of new knowledge from the Margaret Lawrie collection. The Retold project engaged community members to retell the stories collected by Lawrie and provide further information that accompanied the stories, e.g. songs, dance, string games. Towards the end of the project, a family who ‘owned’ a particular story exercised their custodial rights to not share the story with others at this stage. State Library was obliged to respect their wishes and not publicly share these stories until the family believes it is appropriate.

The issue then for collecting institutions is to find that balance that involves digitising materials for access while respecting the intellectual property and moral rights of communities, families and individuals. This is a sensitive area that requires further consideration which a Panel discussion can only touch on – the work of Terri Janke “Our Culture: Our Future – Report on Australian Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property Rights” is an excellent starting point.

Warumungu Community – Tennant Creek area

Puliima_panel_SM_cropSandra Morrison then spoke from the perspective of an Indigenous community which has recently regained access to a set of tapes recorded in the 1960s. She identified the key issues of seeking permission from the right people to transcribe and analyse these recordings. She highlighted the importance of getting community approval for a project such as this, where there are sensitivities about the knowledge and stories of deceased family members. Beyond a broad approval from community leaders, she pointed out the need to go back to the families of the speakers on the tapes and ask them about whether or not they wanted the tapes to be heard. This requires familiarity with family connections within a community to ensure the proper channels are followed, and also contrasts with the very Western legal system, which prioritises individual rights over corporate or community rights.

Since none of the panellists are lawyers, it was strongly recommended that people seek their own legal advice on these issues. A comment from the audience suggested that the topic requires additional attention and that perhaps some kind of working group could be convened to discuss the issues further. Someone else commented that “a whole conference stream could be devoted to this topic” (see blog entry from Grant Young at Indigenous Digital Excellence).

Anyone who would like to pursue this should contact to discuss.

POSTSCRIPT: Ghil’ad Zuckermann has recently released Engaging – A Guide to Interacting Respectfully and Reciprocally with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People, and their Arts Practices and Intellectual Property – which looks to be a useful contribution to this discussion.

Puliima 2015

Project manager Cathy Bow reports on a great conference in Melbourne this month.Puliima 2015 banner

The fifth biennial Puliima National Indigenous Language & Technology Forum was held in Melbourne last week. This is an amazing opportunity to bring together interested practitioners from around the country to share ideas and tools, projects and encouragement.  The forum has a very relaxed feel, with opportunities to ‘show and tell’ about interesting projects and make connections with people across this close-knit but welcoming community. There were over 230 people attending from around Australia and some visitors from overseas.

The plenary sessions took us around the world – from documenting important musical traditions on the Tiwi Islands, to New Mexico USA, where the Santa Fe Indian School is developing programs for students to learn their languages under Indigenous authority, to New Zealand where an Indigenous model of curriculum has been developed for Māori students. There were other opportunities to hear about a range of apps and programs being produced in different language centres and community organisations all around Australia, as well as what’s happening at state and national libraries, and within Universities. 

I had the privilege of being involved in two presentations during the forum. The first involved a panel discussion entitled An open and shut case? Protecting rights and promoting access to Indigenous language materials – I’ll post about that next week. The other was presented in conjunction with Michael Roseth from italk library demonstrating their suite of resources in a number of Indigenous languages and how you can add your own languaitalkge to these high quality videos and stories about contemporary issues. We also showed how you can use the italk library iPad app with books from the Living Archive to create talking books – it’s super easy to add audio and do translation on the fly. Thanks to Millika from Wurrumiyanga who added some Tiwi audio to a book as a demonstration.


It was also lovely to see the fantastic new resources published by First Languages Australia – particularly the Angkety map Digital resource report (which features the Living Archive on page 18) and Warra: Building teams, building resources (we’re on p77 of that one). Plus they also launched the excellent Gambay: Australia’s first languages map which includes lots of information behind the scenes, and can be edited by users. Good to see high quality and informative publications that will really help people working in this field.

I was especially pleased to see a a number of attendees at the forum from the Northern Territory, including people from Wadeye, Tennant Creek, Ngukurr, Harts Range, Bathurst Island, Maningrida and Groote Eylandt, as well as Darwin, Batchelor and Alice Springs. In many of these locations languages are still being spoken, so the issues are different from some other places where there are only documents and recordings left.  Every situation is quite different, so it was encouraging to see people recognise that they were not the only ones facing some of these challenges, and ideas and encouragement could be shared with people from different perspectives.

AGL_shotThe second ‘Australia’s Got Language‘ competition was held on the Wednesday evening, and showcased some incredible talent, as different performers sang in their traditional languages, or performed comedy or told stories.

Thanks to Daryn and the Puliima team for making everything run so smoothly, and to the sponsors for supporting such an important event. Check out their Facebook page for photos and more information.

Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair workshop

The weekend of 7-9 August we had the privilege of running a couple of workshops at the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair with Josh Hughes from Culture Tech.

Alex & Daniel from Maningrida

On Friday we recorded Daniel and Alex reading a frog book in Burarra language (available here) and started putting an e-book together using ibook author. Unfortunately the sound recording wasn’t very good, so we couldn’t complete that one, but it was fun learning how to use iBooks Author to combine images, text and recordings.


Margaret Duncan

On Sunday we had Margaret Duncan from Urapunga read a fish story in Kriol language (available here). This one we managed to complete – you can download the final version for your iOS device here.

We also created a DAAF handout explaining how we did each part of the process – you can use it to create your own digital story for the #LAALComp.

DAAF_workshop (3)

Broadband for the Bush Forum IV

B4BlogoThe Broadband for the Bush Alliance brings together stakeholders from around Australia for research and advocacy for broadband and telecommunications infrastructure and access in remote communities. A media release produced after the conference summarises the main ideas discussed, focusing on the infrastructure issues that means that some communities are excluded from the digital world due to access issues.

The Indigenous Focus Day was a particular highlight, as it enabled Indigenous and non-Indigenous people to discuss the issues that affect their communities. The four streams – affordability, accessibility, awareness and appropriateness – included short presentations from communities presenting both challenges and ideas. They demonstrated how Indigenous people are engaging with technology in interesting ways, particularly for connection to family, culture and language. It was excellent to see the focus on solutions rather than just  the problems – the challenge is to get these proposals to the organisations and people that can make them happen. Another issue identified is the lack of research into how access (or lack of it) affects communities – for example school attendance or workforce development?

I had some good chats with people about the Living Archive project, many people hadn’t heard of it and were interested in seeing the resources, and had some good suggestions about other things we could do. I was especially pleased to meet the IRCA mob, who are doing great things with remote media and communications, and with those working in Indigenous Digital Excellence as part of the NCIE, who are “strengthening Indigenous participation, practice and entrepreneurship in the digital economy.” The forum was accompanied by an interesting Twitter feed as people engaged with the issues using the #bushbroadband.


Participants at the Indigenous Focus Day for the Broadband for the Bush Forum at CDU.

Wurrumiyanga visit

Project manager Cathy Bow recently visited Wurrumiyanga on Bathurst Island in regard to the collection of Tiwi books for the Living Archive project.

Wurrumiyanga was one of the first communities I visited when the project began in 2012, and Tiwi is still one of my favourite collections of books. Wonderful stories with incredible illustrations, good metadata (identifying who wrote and illustrated each book, what year it was published, etc.) and almost all with English translations. The Literature Production Centre at MCPS (Murrupurtiyanuwu Catholic Primary School) has a resource room with lots of copies of each book, in numerical order, some carefully packaged up to protect them from dust, all carefully preserved and easy to access.

Tiwi LPC (1)

The resource room at the Literature Production Centre at MCPS Wurrumiyanga

All the books are neatly arranged in order

I travelled with Ailsa Purdon, the language and literacy advisor from the Catholic Education Office. She spent time with Fiona and Millika, helping them develop resources for teaching Tiwi language and culture in the classrooms. They were excited to see the books on the Living Archive website, and Fiona was enjoying reading the stories aloud and explaining them to us. The illustrations she made for Ngirramini ngini Japarra amintiya Purrukuparli (The Tiwi legend of Japarra and Purrukuparli) are incredible.

Ailsa & Fiona (2)

Ailsa & Fiona exploring the Living Archive

Fiona's book

One of the many books Fiona illustrated

We met with the school principal, Daniel Graves, who was delighted to hear about the Living Archive project and keen to see it used in the classrooms. We discussed ways the materials can be used not just in Tiwi language classes, but also in history, science, English, and other parts of the school curriculum. He’s planning to get the LAAL Reader app to get all the Tiwi books on to the school’s iPads.


Dulcie Tipungwuti with the values of the school in Tiwi and English

Since we think it’s important to get approval from the original creators of the materials to put them on our open access website, I spent time going around the community with Dulcie Tipungwuti. She introduced me to many of the people who either worked in the LPC or were involved in telling or writing stories, or making illustrations. Everyone was happy to sign the permission form and was pleased to know that the books hadn’t been forgotten. There are still several people we haven’t found yet, but we’ll keep trying!

We bumped into Magdalen Kerinaiua who had come to the gathering of linguists and language workers we had at Batchelor last year, and who is still involved with language work at the Museum. I reminded her of the video made by ABC Open about her grandfather’s story. More of his wartime stories are available in one of the books in the LAAL collection: Ngirramini ngini Karri Ngiyarringani Kapani Yimamani Parlingarri (Purraputimali) (Memories of my father Louie Munkara) 

Tiwi Museum

From an exhibition in the Patakijiyali Museum

Sister Anne Gardiner has done amazing job keeping up the Patakijiyali Museum, with a focus on language and culture, including the sale of Tiwi language books and exhibitions incorporating Tiwi language. Sr Anne has been a long time advocate for Tiwi language and culture over many decades, and has been very helpful to the Living Archive project since it started.

I brought back more Tiwi language books to be scanned and uploaded to our archive, and with the signatures we managed to get I can release more books to public view on the website. We also found a video and an audio file to upload. We look forward to hearing about the exciting ways this fantastic material is being used in the school and the wider community.