Photos of this conference can be found on GALCAC’s Facebook page. Watch out for the next conference 21-23 October 2025.
Conference keynote addresses are available on the GALCAC YouTube channel, Wangka, by clicking on the below links.
Conference papers are now available:
The conference program is now available.
The Goldfields Aboriginal Languages Centre Abor. Corp. (GALCAC) held a language conference in Kalgoorlie 24-26 October 2023. The theme of the conference was language decolonisation, rejuvenation, and linguistic rights. Survive, revive, thrive!
This conference is suitable for language workers, teachers, linguists, anthropologists, native title holders or anyone with an interest in First Nations languages!
The First Nations languages of WA have suffered during European colonisation. Many languages have been damaged with a loss of lexicon and grammar. Today, there are few domains where languages can be freely used. Its time to discuss linguistic rights and creating new place for First Nations languages.
This conference will address the decolonisation of language through rejuvenation processes, and rejuvenation of language domains, reclaiming linguistic rights, and ways to make a language thrive.
Three fabulous keynote speakers will present:
Professor Peter Yu : Yawurru Language Revivalist – Link to bio
Denise Smith-Ali OAM : Noongar Linguist Link to Bio
Professor Ghil’ad Zuckermann : Revivalistics Linguist Link to Bio
Email email@example.com to be put onto the conference email notification list.
Mark your diary 24-26 October 2023 for a trip to Kalgoorlie to join in the conference.
The conference will be held at the Curtin University Kalgoorlie Conference Centre, 95 Egan Street, Kalgoorlie 6430.
The conference dinner will be a 3 course meal with entertainment by comedian Kevin Kropinyeri! An event not-to-be missed!!
Wangka Kanyilku Wangkawa is from the Tjupan language and translates as ‘Language, save for the future and speak it!’
Papers, Presentations and Workshops as of May 2023
Maureen Yanawana – workshops
1. Make a skin system poster
2. Make a relationship terms poster.
Sue Hanson is the CEO and Senior Linguist of the Goldfields Aboriginal Language Centre Aboriginal Corporation. Sue is a qualified teacher and a qualified linguist. Her background is 40 years in remote Kimberley, Pilbara and Goldfields Aboriginal communities and organisations using language as a means for connecting people, places and story. She advocates for First Nations’ linguistic rights, empowerment of grass-roots First Nations NGOs, and State Aboriginal languages legislation.
Troy Reynolds is a linguist from Perth, Western Australia. After completing his honours dissertation on tense and aspect in Yindjibarndi and Kurrama languages spoken in the Pilbara in 2017, he spent a year working at GALCAC in Kalgoorlie on the Kaalamaya language before returning to Perth for further study. Troy re-joined the GALCAC team permanently in 2022 and now works on the Ngadju language. Troy also produces the weekly online Wangka Ninti video series introducing young and old to reading, writing, and the structure of Goldfields First Nations’ languages.
Jackie Coffin is a field linguist at the Goldfields Aboriginal Language Centre Aboriginal Corporation (GALCAC). Originally from country Queensland, Jackie has a BA in Linguistics and Writing and a Master of Applied Linguistics. Jackie moved to the Goldfields in 2019 to begin working at ALCAC and enjoys the parallels between country Queensland and regional Western Australia. Jackie’s research areas include language revitalisation and reclamation, phonology and verbal morphology. At GALCAC Jackie studies Mirniny and Pitjantjatjarra. She also manages the internship program and the language centre archives. In her own time, Jackie is a regular guest on ABC Goldfields and Esperance where she presents the short segment Word Nerd.
An archive is a critical component of a language centre, arts organisation or historical society. Accessing an archive can also be a cause of sadness and trauma for First Nations people as difficult historical information is viewed. This places both archivists and archive users in a difficult position. How can we manage our data storage in a way that is mindful of the pain it may cause Indigenous people who hope to use archives as a means to connect to language, family and culture?
Laura Curtis: Solicitor Terri Janke and Company Pty Ltd
Our presentation will address:
1. Cultural Protocol Awareness – Language work frequently involves both Aboriginal language practitioners and non-Indigenous researchers or linguists. TJC recognises that to continue the growth and to support respectful engagement with communities and encourage language preservation it is crucial to implement cultural protocol awareness. This True Tracks® presentation is bespoke in nature and tailored to provide awareness of cultural protocols specifically for language practitioners and non-Indigenous linguists so that they are able to respectfully engage with Aboriginal knowledge holders.
2. ICIP knowledge – As it stands unlike other parts of Australia, WA has not released state policy or legislated around the protection of Aboriginal languages. This will leave Aboriginal knowledge holders with questions around the protection of their Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property (ICIP) rights In line with the Conference’s aim to Decolonise First Nations’ Languages, TJC’s presentation will explain the difference between Intellectual Property (IP) and ICIP, outlining the ongoing ICIP that remains with the knowledge holder even after that knowledge is consensually shared. This will be beneficial in circumstances when commercialising ICIP, providing an understanding of commercial opportunities but also respecting ICIP and providing an understanding of where a balance can be struck allowing for faster output and more successful outcomes.
3. Understanding of best practice contracts – Due to the lack of proper legislation surrounding how languages are to be preserved and the Aboriginal knowledge holders’ rights, TJC has expertise around best practice contracts and will deliver a presentation that gives the participants an understanding of what best practice contracts should look like. This will have the effect of providing an increased sense of security. Participants will be equipped to recognise what good contract drafting looks like and how agreements can balance IP and ICIP.