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 effective and inclusive workshop with elders flown in from as far away as Townsville and Cairns along with the nearby islands of Iama, Warraber, Masig, Waiben and Ngurupai.

Kala Lagaw Ya speakers Alick Tipoti and Gabriel Bani travelled to provide support as fluent speakers of their variety.

The Kulkalgal people are known for their ability to sing in their language – Kulkalgaw Ya – but inter-generational transmission was interrupted.

This means younger people have become passive users of their language.

A development framework was developed for Kulkalgaw Ya and a revitalisation model was endorsed and adopted by the elders and community at large.

It was a genuine pleasure for Pama Language Centre to be involved in this workshop.

There is a great vision and inspired people driving it. We look forward to a long relationship with the Kulkalgal Nation.


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