A program between Elders and teachers that embeds Aboriginal language into a state school community has won the major honour at the 2019 Queensland Reconciliation Awards.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said Mossman State School and Kuku Yalanji Language Advisory Group had been awarded the Partnership Award and the overall Premier’s Reconciliation Award for their initiative, Respect and Consultation: Honouring Kuku Yalanji Language at Mossman State Primary School.
The Daintree Discovery Centre is proud to support this wonderful initiative, providing $2000 sponsorship to help launch the project in December, 2018.
“Kuku Yalanji Elders and Mossman State School staff have developed a program that has given the community a place for truth telling and acknowledgement of past wrongs, a place for Kuku Yalanji students to be proud of their heritage and culture, and a pathway for understanding.
“2019 is the United Nations International Year of Indigenous Languages and this program exemplifies how healing and learning can come from restoring languages and sharing culture,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“Acknowledging our history and valuing the knowledge of Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islander peoples is key to our reconciliation journey.
“I congratulate Mossman State School and Kuku Yalanji Language Advisory Group for their commitment to nurturing a true partnership that has such positive outcomes for their community.
Mossman State School, north of Cairns in far north Queensland, is one of a handful of schools that will teach Indigenous language classes to all of its students, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous, in accordance with the Australian Government’s official framework.
It is hoped all children in years one to six will be able to speak Kuku Yalanji fluently and prevent the language, which is native to Indigenous people in the region, being lost forever due state government policies in past decades that were designed to eradicate it.