What’s new

August 2016 update

Another 75 items have been added to the Virtual Library, bringing the total number of items to over 500, representing over 150 languages ... read more

How to use this Virtual Library

To find a resource, use search, or choose a state, language or category on the left (see Help for more information).

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Update 2024

This site is no longer current and is not being updated. Since 2016, happily, the number of online sources of knowledge about Australian Indigenous languages exploded in number and diversity of sources, especially from Indigenous organisations and individuals. As a result, it became impossible to keep ALoA up to date. It is no longer a key resource.

As the main web portal for Australian Aboriginal languages on the web (part of Tim Berners-Lee’s official W3C Virtual Library (now defunct at https://www.vlib.org/ - see its history) this site provided summaries, guidance and links to quality resources on Aboriginal languages, especially those produced from communities and by community members. It was listed in most of the major international libraries and other institutions as a key site for Australian languages, and attracted over 500,000 hits a year.

Approximately half of the linked sites still exist and the site’s back-end database remains valuable because it contains data which tracks 20 years of the emergence, expansion and changes in the online presence of Australian First Nations languages from the birth of the web.


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Gumbaynggir [kgs]
Source: Ezreena Yahya / Honi Soit
General article about language revival across Australia, with special mention of Woolgoolga High School in North Coast NSW where all year 7 students learn Gumbaynggirr, and at Chifley College in Western Sydney where students can learn Darug; in both cases noting positive outcomes for Aboriginal students.
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Source: Gary Williams / Dallas Walker / ABC
In this film, Gary Williams and Dallas Walker introduce themselves and sing the song Baabaga Birruganba Bularri. The page also includes the written lyrics for the song.
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Source: ABC/Fiona Poole/Gary Williams
Background to Gumbaynggirr of north-coastal NSW. Gary Williams is a Gumbaynggirr language teacher at the Muurrbay Aboriginal Language and Culture Co-operative. Includes a list of over 100 words and phrases in Gumbaynggirr, many with audio pronunciation.
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Source: Al Jazeera
A detailed film report by Al Jazeera on the history of the destruction of Aboriginal languages, the story of those surviving, and the efforts of people to revive their languages. Features speakers of Darug (a particularly impressive contribution by Richard Green), Arrernte (John Cavenagh), Gumbaynggirr (Michael Jarrett), Pitjanatjara and others.
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Source: Muurrbay
Muurrbay was set up in 1986 to support Aboriginal people, particularly Gumbaynggirr, in the revival and maintenance of language and culture. It conducts a range of workshops and other activities including teacher training and language teaching in schools. See especially the Publications section for some fine reference books.
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