Library For All Attends PULiiMA 2019

Conference attendees at Puliima Conference 2019

LFA CEO Rebecca McDonald and PULiiMA attendees

LFA was a proud sponsor of the recent PULiiMA 2019 Indigenous Languages and Technology Conference in Darwin. LFA has been awarded a TFN grant to create an Australian Indigenous languages collection, so it is crucial that the organisation works closely with appropriate community leaders and experts in the field. CEO Rebecca McDonald had the pleasure of attending the conference. 

The PULiiMA Indigenous Language and Technology Conference is a biennial event, bringing together people from all over the world with the shared goal of preserving Indigenous languages. Attendees explore project ideas and exciting products as well as equipment that can be used in community based Indigenous languages projects. 

The conference has a relaxed community feel, with the majority of the presentations being given by Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people about their own projects or concepts. PULiiMA is the largest community focused national Aboriginal languages conference in Australia, including lectures, practical demonstrations and workshops. 

“I was so excited to see how many people were already publishing, or keen to publish, material in Indigenous languages,” Rebecca said.  “The Northern Territory government has clearly made a big commitment to bilingual education, and made rapid strides to implement changes.” Library For All is in discussions with several First Nations communities about publishing collaborations thanks to connections made at PULiiMA.

Lino cut image

Lino cut prints – one of many creative workshops offered at PULiiMA

Other conference highlights included a dedicated Women in Language event, acknowledging and celebrating the unique role women play in maintaining, transmitting and promoting languages and cultures, and hands-on crafting and creative expression workshops. Presentations by celebrated Indigenous authors Tara June Winch and Kirli Saunders  showcased the diversity of contemporary Australilan literature, while linguists, educators, sociologists and scientists shared research and experience, resulting in productive, holistic, cross-disciplinary conversations.