How a Language Transformed a Town

School Students in ParkesThe rural town of Parkes in New South Wales has changed – in a very big way!

But like any huge change, this certainly didn’t happen overnight. It’s the result of time and the wonderful efforts of a small group of dedicated people working hard at a grassroots level to bring about change.

Every week over 1,000 people (about 10% of the population) take lessons in speaking Wiradjuri. This is the indigenous language of the Wiradjuri Nation, which forms a large part of central New South Wales.

These language classes, starting with classrooms and schools in the area, have indeed changed local attitudes and transformed the town.

Read more in this ABC report, which shares this wonderful story of true reconciliation and transformational change in practice!

Why is language important? In the words of Ron Wardrop, Wiradjuri teacher:

Like a river, the water tells a story, it just keeps flowing on and on, like generations of people telling stories. If that river dries up, then that knowledge and that flow of language and culture – which gives people a strong sense of connection to self and country – is going to die away. And that would be a sad thing.

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Thank you to Rob Voyle (AI Mailing List) for alerting us to this story.

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