Chapter 23 - Abstract and author bios

23. Animating Language: Continuing Intergenerational Indigenous Language Knowledge

Shannon Faulkhead, John Bradley and Brent McKee

The Monash Country Lines Archive (MCLA) began in 2011 to assist Indigenous Australian communities in language preservation. Working on the premise that Indigenous communities already have the structures to continue and preserve their language through intergenerational learning, it was recognised that a new knowledge system was not needed. Instead the need was to provide tools to reengage and revitalise interest in language continuation. Working with 3D animation as a method of intergenerational knowledge sharing, keeping language alive, or to reconnect language and its people, MCLA is developing partnerships with Indigenous communities across Australia to assist in the preservation of their history, knowledge, poetry, songs, performance and language. These animations provide material for Elders and younger generations to sit together and share knowledge. This chapter covers three areas of the Monash Country Lines Archive: Importance of Indigenous Languages, Basic Principles and Animating Language and Country.

John Bradley is the Deputy Director of the Monash Indigenous Centre and has worked for 35 years in the Northern Territory of Australia. His research has centred on working with Indigenous peoples to record their own Indigenous knowledges in ways that are useful to them. He has also worked on a number of land and sea claims assisting Indigenous peoples in regaining their traditional lands. More recently he has been developing ways in which his own fieldwork can be returned to Indigenous communities, the animations project of which he is the director having been a part of this.

Shannon Faulkhead’s research concentrates on the location of Koorie peoples and their knowledge within the broader Australian society and its collective knowledge as reflected through narratives and records. To date Shannon’s multi-disciplinary research has centred on community and archival collections of records. Being the Finkel Fellow, attached to Monash Country Lines Archive, Monash University, will allow for greater exploration and development in the area of Indigenous archiving.

Brent McKee is a graduate and researcher in the Faculty of Information Technology, Monash University. Brent is the lead animator on the Monash Country Lines Archive and the 3D animator and postproduction editor on the Visualising Angkor project.