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Revitalising Australia’s first languages
The Centre for Australian Languages and Linguistics (CALL) celebrates the richness of Australia’s first languages by supporting projects and providing services, initiatives and advocacy in response to globalisation, cultural homogenisation, language attrition and language loss. The work of the Centre is underpinned by Batchelor Institute’s vision as a site of national significance in Indigenous education – strengthening identity, achieving success and transforming lives.
As a language centre based in the Division of Higher Education and Research at Batchelor Institute, and closely connected with Batchelor Press, CALL’s language support work includes language recording and documentation, resource production and supporting the growth of the next generations of language workers through providing opportunities for intergenerational work and learning.
Operating as something of a service hub, CALL is noted for its role in drawing together resources, expertise, networks and knowledge from over 30 years of work with Australian languages. CALL brings together a dedicated team, working with communities, cultural leaders, academic organisations, researchers, students, language centres, education programs and publishers. The work of CALL is grounded in Both-Ways philosophy and participatory methodologies, recognising that Indigenous language maintenance, revival and salvage must be embedded in community-based engagement.
The Centre benefits from the corporate and administrative stability and support of Batchelor Institute, but works beyond academic and institutional paradigms; CALL’s scope of services is based on working with Australian languages from an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander worldview. This enables CALL to respond to circumstances and opportunities for the benefit of clients and communities and ensures the best combination of expertise is provided in support of language research, documentation and preservation.
CALL has a presence in the Top End and in Central Australia. In Central Australia are Angela Harrison, Manager, and Vanessa Farrelly, Pertame Language Project Officer, and a number of casual staff working on language projects. In the Top End are Annette Woodbridge, Admin, and Maurice O’Riordan, Publications Manager, both working for Batchelor Press. Maree Klesch, former Director of CALL and Batchelor Press is currently completing language projects.
In addition to the CALL staff are the many Batchelor Institute staff with whom CALL collaborates. These include higher education, library, VET - art, conservation and land management and media staff - and all the admin and other support staff not mentioned. CALL is grateful for their support and collaboration.
CALL also places a high priority on its Associates. Among the Associates are language experts, linguists and others who through their commitment, interest and various skills have provided great suppor for CALL work and projects. If you are interested in working with us, please contact our research division at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Angela Harrison at email@example.com.
In the words of Jeanie Bell, linguist, activist, educator and long-time Batchelor language custodian:
I believe that the strenuous efforts of most Indigenous language workers are primarily about sustaining our linguistic survival and a determination to ensure that our cultural heritage continues to be passed on even if in a modified form to what it was 100 or 200 years ago. We do it to stay connected to our country and the old ways of our Ancestors and we need it to stay strong in ourselves . We also need to work out the best ways we can take it into the future.