WANALA Conference 2014

Western Australia and Northern Aboriginal Language Alliance Biennial Conference

3rd September – 5th September 2014

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The WANALA conference was held in Broome Western Australia with Mabu Yawuru Ngan-ga with the support of Nyamba Buru Yawuru as hosts.

WANALA aims to engage with language centres, language projects and language groups to share knowledge, acquire skills and to collaborate on ways of working together in remote and difficult contexts.


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Participants from all over Western Australia and other areas shared knowledge and information about working with traditional languages.

There were networking opportunities and a great exchange of knowledge.  It also engaged young people in language learning and teaching.  There were a range of workshop sessions on technology, archives and multimedia formats.  One workshop was with ABC Open.  It was to demonstrate how easy it is to share language through video and this is the outcome: Greetings



Joyce Hudson (AM) grew up in SE Queensland and came to the Kimberley in 1967 where she studied and became fluent in the Walmajarri language from the Great Sandy Desert.  Joyce has obtained a Master of Arts (linguistics) from ANU on Fitzroy Valley Kriol. Her interest in language maintenance has led to work with speakers of many Kimberley languages.

She played a role in setting up the Kimberley Language Resource Centre and later worked there as a project linguist.  She has also worked on languages in education and continues to give support to those involved in  language maintenance.  In 2014 Joyce was appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for significant service to the community through the recording and preservation of Indigenous languages, and to education.

Kylie Farmer [Kaarljilba Kaardn] is an Aboriginal Australian actress & TV presenter from the Nyungar/Bibbulmun nation. She hosted of Waabiny Time – an Indigenous early childhood language program designed for koolangka (kids) aged three to six – on NITV.  Kylie has performed numerous stage roles, working with companies such as Yirra Yaakin, Sydney Theatre Company, Shakespeare WA, Darwin Festival and Belvoir Street Theatre. She also has film & television credits, performing in shows such as The Gods of Wheat Street, Redfern Now, Ace of Spades and Stone Bros.

Kylie translated six Shakespearean sonnets into Noongar language for a 2012 performance at Shakespeare’s Globe in London, and has worked as translator on the Noongar Pop Culture project with Community Arts Network WA. Kylie also delivered a TEDx talk raising awareness about Indigenous languages in Australia.