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WANALA Forum 2018



Wadeye Elders, Kunagarkan Elders and families joined together to celebrate the opening of the Western and Northern Aboriginal Language Alliance (WANALA), which was co-hosted by Batchelor Institute and Wadeye Community. The WANALA Forum was a wonderful success which delivered an exciting and innovative program. The workshops reflected Both-ways philosophy and practices, allowing participants to engage in sharing traditional knowledge and skill while learning new skills and knowledge to create a site of modernity. One of the key tenants of Both-ways education and learning is respect, we respect what we bring when we come together and we respect each other’s expertise, knowledge and through respectful collaboration we can find a way to move forward.

The outcomes of the collaborative workshops were a great success demonstrating powerful ways to move forward with language and the arts. By the end of the Forum everyone wanted a drone and everyone wanted to be on country documenting their stories. The men’s workshop on message sticks brought forward a group of exceptional men who shared their ancient knowledge of message sticks to create a new message stick that carries the voices of the men, their language and culture, such an extraordinary outcome.

The storytelling workshop gathered the knowledge of thousands of years of oral storytelling techniques and looked  at how we can collaborate and find common ground to create a story about our language and history.

The art workshop showcased the visual literacy of culture with the participants visions for the future of language and cultural recognition. The management of language centres and language collections drew together expertise from across Australia to identify the most appropriate ways of moving forward as we gather, repatriate and archive language materials for community and national access.

To find out more and view the video outcomes of WANALA 2018 visit in the coming weeks.