Faith Baisden

Yugambeh

The thing that drives me to keep going is seeing the pride on people’s faces, particularly of young children, who learn to speak their language and learn to connect with their culture, their families, and their histories. Our languages have often not been spoken for many years because of our history, where people were never allowed to speak their language. Traditional language has been hidden in the background of a lot of families until recently. In the last 10 or 20 years people have begun to ask, ‘Well, my granny talks to me and she tells me about this language stuff but is it really a language’? Then those people have begun working hard to get it out there and see it written down and put into resources. And we have come to the point where people in schools are saying, ‘We’re going to teach this and we think it’s really important’. School language programs are having great results, making kids go, ‘Wow, we’ve got something to be proud of here’. And that’s the main thing because that is where the change is made. Making people feel good about themselves is the first step towards healing bigger problems.

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