August 3, 2020

The CSIRO recently launched the ‘Our Knowledge, Our Way’ guidelines. This publication offers best-practice advice about working within Indigenous knowledge systems to care for country.

The Mobile Language Team in partnership with Dr Veronica Arbon were proud to contribute a case study centred around the Arabana On-Country Language Camps to the publication. The impact of this case study is evident in the very first guideline, Strengthening Indigenous Knowledge.

“Our knowledge is kept alive and is passed on through language, song, dance, art, story, through being on Country, hunting and harvesting and through many other cultural practices. Opportunities to continue these practices are essential to the survival of our culture.”

CSIRO (2020). ‘Our Knowledge, Our Way’ guidelines summary. [online pdf] page 2
PHOTO: Elder Syd Strangways on Arabana country Kati Thanda Lake Eyre

The success of the Arabana camps, conducted in 2018-2019, illustrate the importance of connecting language to land. This holistic approach is well understood by Indigenous communities, but it is still a developing concept in the Western science and linguistics realms.

The MLT are currently hosting Summer Research Scholar Lucinda Duxbury, a Masters student of paleoclimateology at the University of Adelaide. Lucinda will be working closely with MLT Aboriginal language workers to develop practical resources and hands-on activities to further explore this link between language and land.

PHOTO: Summer Research Scholarship recipient Lucinda Duxbury

Follow this link to read the CSIRO guidelines in full and to watch the video introduction to this landmark project: