Pama Language Centre is an important and historic step toward the revitalisation and maintenance of Cape York Peninsula’s unique and precious linguistic and cultural heritage.

Keeping Languages Alive

Injinoo school students singing Ikanpa Muypan in Injinoo Ikya with Mama Cyd Ropeyarn and Julie Mayhew from Pama Language Centre. PLC continues to work hard in engaging First Nations people, particularly children, in their ancestral languages through...

Painted Stories: Linking country, art and culture for language revival.

In the Painted Stories film, narrator Vera Koomeeta (Wik-Alken and Wik-Mungkan) tells of the importance of keeping the languages spoken at Aurukun strong and shows how she and other artists and Elders are using their paintings, artwork, language and song to pass on...

Life Stories

Pama Language Centre has been busy collaborating with staff and clients at the Chivaree Centre, Aurukun, to celebrate Seniors Week 2018 (18th-26th August) and honour Aurukun Elders. Secondary students from Aurukun State School and the...

Singing Back Our Languages!

Angkamuthi and Atambaya elders Sandra Sebasio and Cecilia Ropeyarn finished their workshop and then headed down to the beach to keep singing with our choir master Julie Mayhew. Julie is working with the Injinoo Ikya team to develop new songs - an effective tool to aid...

WIK Language Story Telling

Senior artists and language experts Janet Koongotema (Wik-Mungkan) and Jean Walmbeng (Wik-Alken), who feature in the Painted Stories film watched the latest version at the Chivaree Centre yesterday to check translations and to give feedback....

Painted Stories

Percy Koonutta talks about his country recorded in his latest painting. A short film about the *Painted Stories* project is in the final stages of production. Chivaree Centre staff member Giles Ngakyunkwokka and artist Percy Koonutta feature in...

A New Song

What’s happening in Hope Vale? Irene Hammett is writing a new song in Guugu Yimithirr.

A Personal Journey: Monash University Student Internship with Pama Language Centre

As a student of linguistics at Monash University I recently completed a three-week placement with the Pama Language Centre in Bamaga, Cape York. During this time, I gained a glimpse into the vital and urgent nature of language revitalisation for Australian Aboriginal...

Revitalising Kulkalgaw Ya

Pama Language Centre linguist Xavier Barker and Monash University intern Imogen Genest travelled to Poruma to support the Kulkalgal Nation as they embark on a journey towards revitalisation of their language, a distinct variety of Kala Lagaw Ya. It was an...

Indigenous community fights to preserve language that gave Australia the word ‘kangaroo’

An Indigenous language that has survived for more than 50,000 years and gave Australia the word "kangaroo" is fighting to stay alive amid fears the number of fluent speakers is dwindling. Guugu-Yimidhirr is the mother tongue of people in Hope Vale on Cape York...

Singing Back Our Languages

What’s happening at Injinoo today? Singing Back Our Languages - Injinoo school sang Ikanpa Muypan in Injinoo Ikya with Mama Cyd Ropeyarn and Julie Mayhew from Pama Language Centre.

Life Stories: Maintenance activities at Aurukun

Pama Language Centre is collaborating with the Chivaree Centre, Aurukun to hold ongoing weekly activities as part of the Life Stories and Painted Stories project. The project provides opportunities for Chivaree Centre clients, Elders and...

Honey Ant Hunting

On Thursday, the Pama Language Centre linguists were taken on a honey-ant hunt by members of the Tjupan First Nation (Edie Ulrich, Margie, Gino, Murray and Jessica). After being shown how to identify a nest of nyamanka (Honeypot ants -...

Pama Language Centre in Kalgoorlie

Pama Language Centre linguists are at Lexicom in Kalgoorlie. Thank you to Goldfields Aboriginal Language Centre for running this important workshop.

Ancient Words

These words were spoken in Australia 10 thousand years ago. Linguists have reconstructed some words in Proto-Australian, the ancestor of all First Nations languages. Some of these words are still used in many Australian languages today, though sometimes the form of...

Return of Materials to Indigenous Communities

The "Koko Olkulo Language Notes" by Walter Edmund Roth, 1889 are part of the Sommer Collection lodged at the Fryer Library in Brisbane. Pama Language Centre is working on ways to make archival materials such as these permanently and easily available to Cape York...

RNLD DRIL Workshop at Hope Vale.

Elders and community members are working together to ensure the future of the Guugu Yimidhirr language for generations to come, by developing strategies to bring the language back into the homes. The Queensland State Library, the Resource Network for...

I want the language to be accessible

"I want the language to be accessible to my grandchildren. I want my grandchildren to be fully fluent speakers and the language to continue. A lot is already happening with the language, and we at this workshop we have many of the doers who are already working for our...

I Want Our Language to be Strong

"I want our language to be strong in the future and we will not be sitting here talking about the loss of our guugu. I want to have some role in that. This workshop is helping us to think of ways to teach language in homes, because that's not easy to talk language, it...

Reviving the Mpakwithi language

"... it is important for us to continue with our language. Because me and my sisters grew up closely with our grandfather, we feel that it is our responsibility to revive it and continue." Susan Kennedy speaking to First Languages Australia Susan and her sisters are...

Support Language Learning Schools and Homes

Agnes pwi tralawati chwakana, dwimi-kerrimirri njanhakumu. "Agnes is collecting red seeds to make necklaces." Agnes Mark and her sisters Victoria and Susan Kennedy, are reclaiming their language. Agnes's grandfather Donald Fletcher, the last fluent speaker of...

2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages

UNESCO is facilitating the organisation of the 2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages, a follow up to the United Nations General Assembly Resolution on "Rights of Indigenous Peoples" proclaimed in December 2016. UNESCO, together with a range of different...

Injinoo Ikya Ancestral Language Action Team

Injinoo Ikya Ancestral Language Action Team met to discuss their activities for 2018. Injinoo Ikya comprises the mutually intelligible Angkamuthi, Atambaya and Yadhaykenu languages as well as the Gudang language. The Ancestral Language Action...

Learning Guugu

Wanhdharra! Ngayu gadil Shannon Bowe. Ngadhu dyiiral Stacey. Ngaliin gabiirr gudhiirra wunaarna: Lily (8) bula Poppy (3). Nganhdhaan Toowoombawi nhin-gaalnggal. Ngadhuumi gamiwi biiba bama Daarbaangu. Nhulu guugu bindiir. Ngayu wawudhirr milbi miirriinhu. Ngayu...

Writing Songs to Revive Endangered Language

Johnny Mark is a Warrangu man but he is playing a key role in supporting Mpakwithi Revival. Johnny is the husband of Agnes Mark, Mpakwithi Elder and has been writing songs to help her and her sisters revive their critically endangered language. He has also worked with...

Songs in Wik-Mungkan

Delys Yunkaporta, who is a NAATI-accredited Wik-Mungkan Interpreter and School Attendance Supervisor, has been supporting the latest Pama Language Centre Songs on Country and Singing Back Our Languages Workshops at Aurukun State School. Delys...

Pama at the Indigenous Languages Convention and Expo

At the Department of Communications and the Arts Indigenous Languages Convention and Expo, Xavier Barker presented on Pama Language Centre's approach to innovation of effective, scalable language resources and programs. At the expo we showed...

Singing Back our Languages in Aurukun

Vera Koomeeta (Aplach Clan) OAM is a remarkable Champion for the revitalisation of her Wik-Alken language, and is playing a driving role in the maintenance of Wik-Mungkan, the lingua franca of Aurukun Community. Vera Koomeeta is working with...

Langauge Careers

Accredited Wik-Mungkan Interpreter Mr. H. Yunkaporta, providing interpreter services to Community Language Forum, Aurukun State School. Pama Language Centre is supporting Aurukun Community Language forums and providing employment opportunities for NAATI-accredited...

Aurukun Moonlight

Next week Students at Aurukun State School will be singing Ruby Hunter's beautiful song Aurukun Moonlight translated into Wik-Mungkan by Nita Yunkaporta and Janet Koongotema. This workshop is a Pama Language Centre Collaboration with the Wik-Mungkan Ancestral Language...

Our ancestral languages are the unique inheritance of the children of Cape York Peninsula.

Every child has the right to grow up with an ancestral language as a first language. 

Speaking our own languages and keeping them strong and healthy is important for individual and family wellbeing.

 

The future for the First Nations of Cape York Peninsula must be a multilingual future. Our goal is for all our great classical ancestral languages to thrive and grow with our people as viable living languages of the future.

Cape York Peninsula is known as one of world’s cultural treasuries.

Our languages are keys to stories and songs that follow the ancient dreaming tracks which snake across the Australian continent.

Before the establishment of Pama Language Centre in 2015, there was no facility to enable the maintenance of our more than 42 languages and numerous dialects. Most of our languages are now threatened.

Pama Language Centre works with First Nations Language Champions of Cape York Peninsula to record, revive, revitalise and maintain our ancestral languages.  We harness 21st century tools to save the knowledge and culture of our ancestors.