Should we be maintaining and preserving Indigenous languages? There have been ongoing discussions on whether or not Indigenous language should be taught in schools…but which language and who would teach it?
Tagged with “indigenous” (8)
RareCollections: Pioneering Indigenous Australian Vocalists - ABC Canberra - Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Jordie Kilby and David Kilby feature some pioneering Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island singers.
In the 90’s Yothu Yindi’s hit albums and singles greatly assisted in attracting national and international interest in Indigenous Australian music and performers. Yet, in some ways, the path that the group trod had been walked before. But by whom? Here are a few of the pioneers.
Harold Blair - Jabbin Jabbin - Score Records 1956.
Harold Blair was blessed with a beautiful tenor voice and it took him from Murgon mission in Queensland to the concert halls of New York. His first release appeared in 1956 on Melbourne’s Score record label and was the first commercial recording by an aboriginal Australian singer. What makes the record really interesting is that even though Blair made his name performing in productions like The Messiah, his first official recordings were of songs that the discs’ liner notes call traditional aboriginal Australian songs.
Georgia Lee - Downunder Blues - Crest Records - 1962.
When her album "Sings The Blues Downunder" was released it created a place for Georgia Lee in the history books. It was the first blues album ever recorded in Australia and only the second album, of any kind, recorded by an Australian female artist. Alongside covers of blues standards sit two original compositions, Yarra River Blues and Downunder Blues, both penned by Crest producer King Crawford and very early examples of what you might call Australian blues.
Vicki Simms - Yo Yo Heart - Festival Records - 1961 & Stanger in My Country - RCA Records - 1973.
Vicki Simms career began before he was a teenager singing Little Richard covers at Sydney dances in the late 1950’s. His first single Yo Yo Heart was released in 1961 when he was thirteen. Even though his records and TV appearances were geared toward the pop market he was a rock and roller at heart and one of the first aboriginal singers to make his name in that field. After struggling with alcohol he was sent to gaol where he began writing verse and learning guitar. "Stranger in My Country" comes from his 1973 landmark album The Loner which documented the feelings of many indigenous Australians at that time.
George Bracken - Turn Me Loose - W&G Records - 1959.
Before Cassius Clay or Lionel Rose combined boxing with a pop recording career there was George Bracken. George got his start with Jimmy Sharman’s boxing troupe in Queensland and soon moved to Victoria to begin training. He’d always been a social singer and was approached by W&G records to cut a couple of singles in the early 60’s. In the end George had more hits in the ring that on the charts but he was there before anyone else. He later went back to school and dedicated his life to liaising between police and the indigenous community in Redfern, Sydney.
Warumpi Band - Jalanguru Pakarnu - 1983.
Probably most famous these days for songs like My Island Home and Blackfella/Whitefella the Warumpi band hold the distinction of being the first band to record a rock song in an indigenous Australian language (Luritja) . Neil Murray was working as a teacher in Papunya in the central desert region of the Northern Territory when he formed the band with brothers Sammy and Gordon Butcher and George Burarrwanga. Initially covering the likes of Chuck Berry they soon began developing their own unique style of outback rock. The song was named after a phrase common with locals on the street and means "out from jail".
Little Davey Page - Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen - Atlantic Records - 1975.
The Page brothers Stephen and David are best known for their groundbreaking stage and theatre work over the last 20 years. However long before finding lasting national fame David was spotted performing in a talent quest and signed with the iconic American label Atlantic Records - the first Australian to do so. He was groomed as Australia’s answer to the young Michael Jackson and released a couple of singles under the name Little Davey Page. Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen made the top 10 on the Brisbane charts in July 1975 and the follow up We Like Music Together went top 15 early the following year. There were no more after that and Australia had to wait a little before being exposed to David’s talent once again.
In her second lecture, Professor Langton examines the confluence of historical, political and social factors which have created entrenched barriers against the economic advancement of Aboriginal people in Australia.
The vast majority of Australia’s Indigenous languages – some 250 are estimated to have existed at the time British colonisation – are no longer in use.
Now, the Australian government is being pushed to revalue Indigenous languages in a call for the payment of compensation for language loss, to be put towards increased funding for language revitalisation, with the claim that the loss of language is more detrimental than the loss of land.
Ghil’ad Zuckermann, Professor of Linguistics and Endangered Languages, The University of Adelaide, South Australia.
Professor Ghil’ad Zuckermann’s website (http://www.zuckermann.org/)
Article ‘Stop, Revive, Survive’, written by Ghil’ad Zuckermann & Michael Walsh, 2011; published in the ‘Australian Journal of Linguistics’ (31: 111-127) (http://www.zuckermann.org/pdf/Revival_Linguistics.pdf)
The Mobile Language Team website (http://www.mobilelanguageteam.com.au/)
An outline of Indigenous Languages Support by the Australian federal government (http://arts.gov.au/sites/default/files/indigenous/ils/ils-factsheet.pdf)
Compromise and Confrontation: Senator Neville Bonner - Hindsight - ABC Radio National (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
The 1970s were a turbulent period in Australian politics and a high-point in the struggle for Indigenous rights and justice. Huge political energy pulsed through the Aboriginal movement following the success of the 1967 Referendum. But the first Indigenous person to sit in Federal Parliament didn’t come from the radical urban Aboriginal activist movement. He came from Queensland.
Neville Bonner rose up through the ranks of the Queensland Liberal Party around the time Sir Joh Bjelke Petersen began his epic reign as premier. Bonner became Liberal senator for Queensland in 1971 and held on to his seat until 1983.
As a conservative politician in radical times, Neville Bonner’s position was not a comfortable one. Complex tensions played out in his political career. He had to juggle often conflicting loyalties against a dynamic political backdrop as Queensland and the Commonwealth came to blows over Aboriginal affairs. Then there was the hostility he copped from other politicised Indigenous people who accused him of being an Uncle Tom.
But in the end Neville Bonner surprised both his conservative sponsors and his radical detractors.
Though Bonner was a proud Jagera man with strong ancestral connections to the area southwest of Brisbane, the context for this portrait of Neville Bonner is the Australian political landscape rather than Bonner’s Indigenous cultural context.
Listeners are advised that the program contains the voices of Indigenous people who have died.
The Maribyrnong is a short river, only 50 km from tip to toe, but it has a long history.
The Maribyrnong river valley in Melbourne has been home to the Marin Balug people of the Kulin nation for some 40,000 years and bears many signs of their presence.
It was also a major channel for the European occupation of Port Phillip, first as a pathway to the Western District for sheep-owners and their stock, then as a source of bluestone and sand for the growing city and a dumping ground for its noxious wastes.
Jenny Lee’s walking tour starts above the bend in the river that is the site of the now-defunct Commonwealth Explosives Factory, and takes in sites of Indigenous settlement, industry around the river and the current McMansion invasion.
The tour goes for 27 minutes and has 9 stops.
YOUR TOUR GUIDE JENNY LEE Jenny Lee became an editor by accident in 1982, when she began working on a multi-author history of Australia (A People’s History of Australia, 4 vols, 1988). She edited the literary and cultural quarterly Meanjin from 1987 to 1994. Jenny has been co-ordinator of the postgraduate Publishing and Communications program at the University of Melbourne since 2003. She is deputy chair of the OL Society, which publishes Overland literary journal.
Her book Making Modern Melbourne was launched at the 2008 Melbourne Writers Festival and was a Top 10 bestseller on the first weekend of the festival. Making Modern Melbourne charts the city’s story from illegal village to modern metropolis.
CREDITS This tour is recorded and edited by Jane Curtis, produced by Community Radio 3CR, and funded by the Office of Public Records Local History grant program. http://peoplestour.net/2010/02/long-history-of-a-short-river-the-maribyrnong/
At the age of twenty, John Bradley went to teach Aboriginal children in the remote town of Borroloola, on the Gulf of Carpentaria. However, he very soon became the student as the Yanyuwa elders and their families decided to educate him on their language, culture and songlines.
Reads a poem called To Begin With, the Sweet Grass by Mary Oliver. Presents a hypothetical scenario of the year 2020 with employment security, cheap healthcare, housing work exchange, worry- free retirement, and all the education you can eat. In contrast, projects the logical outcome of Obama’s stimulus package, which takes on more debt to "free up" credit. Examines the revenue-raising "solutions" of the California Tax Reform conference. Then outlines the policies that could get us out of this mess, if we took local control of our taxes. Bonus offer? a new religion called the Indigenous Planet.
Read the show transcript while listening, and view our images, videos, and links on the Third Paradigm website: