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Project to re-establish Aboriginal language

Extract from Australian Broadcasting Corporation - ABC Online, on 12 July 2003


A project to revive an Aboriginal language that has not been spoken formore than 100 years is about to start in Lake Macquarie near Newcastle.

The Awabakal group believes over time it will be able to resurrect its language with the help of written references kept by a 19th century anthropologist, who set up Australia's first Aboriginal mission.

Project manager Darren McKenny says Lancelot Thurkeld's records document the words, grammar and pronunciation of the Awabakal language.

He says the project will help the Awabakal people re-establish their cultural identity.

"A lot of people think that the language is extinct because it is not spoken, but it will be once again," he said.

"The language is the key to the culture, the traditions, the stories, and as the language is spoken more and more, so will all of these other cultural activities will also come forward themself much more stronger."


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