Re-awakening languages: theory and practice in the revitalisation
of Australia's Indigenous languages
Re-awakening languages: theory and practice in the revitalisation of Australia's Indigenous languages
Edited by John Hobson, Kevin Lowe, Susan Poetsch and Michael Walsh
Sydney University Press
ISBN: 9781920899554

The Indigenous languages of Australia have been undergoing a renaissance over recent decades. Many languages that had long ceased to be heard in public and consequently deemed 'dead' or 'extinct', have begun to emerge.

Geographically and linguistically isolated, revitalisers of Indigenous Australian languages have often struggled to find guidance for their circumstances, unaware of the others walking a similar path. In this context Re-awakening languages seeks to provide the first comprehensive snapshot of the actions and aspirations of Indigenous people and their supporters for the revitalisation of Australian languages in the twenty-first century.

The contributions to this volume describe the satisfactions and tensions of this ongoing struggle. They also draw attention to the need for effective planning and strong advocacy at the highest political and administrative levels, if language revitalisation in Australia is to be successful and people's efforts are to have longevity.

This book is available open access.

A free PDF version of the book can be downloaded here

About the editors

John Hobson has spent many years supporting bilingual programs and training Indigenous Australian language workers in Central Australia. He has worked on dictionary projects, and delivered Aboriginal language and literacy courses in several languages. He is currently a lecturer at the Koori Centre, University of Sydney.

Kevin Lowe, a Gubbi Gubbi man from south-east Queensland, is Inspector, Aboriginal Education in the NSW Office of the Board of Studies. He is currently working with Aboriginal communities, schools and education systems in establishing programs that centre on the development of school-community learning partnerships.

Susan Poetsch has worked as a curriculum officer at the Board of Studies NSW supporting Aboriginal community members, linguists and school staff across the state to implement the NSW Aboriginal Languages K-10 Syllabus and develop local programs. She has recently joined the Indigenous languages education program at the Koori Centre.

Michael Walsh, an honorary associate at the Department of Linguistics, University of Sydney, is a leading figure in Australian languages and linguistics studies. He has been extensively involved in the revitalisation of Aboriginal languages in NSW over the last 30 years.