Language and Landscape: European words in Aboriginal Spaces

For thousands of years the Australian landscape was covered with networks of Indigenous placenames that described and evoked features of the environment. European colonisers superimposed their own names, usually derived from northern hemisphere locations, over the top of these erasing ancient connections.

On Wednesday 16 march at 12.30 in Auditorium 2, in the second Out of the Port lunchtime lecture for 2011 Dr Dale Kerwin examined the European appropriation of the Aboriginal world through the naming of place.

Despite some PowerPoint gremlins causing a few technical problems this was a terrific presentation with thanks also to Yaggabul elder Uncle Des Sandy for his participation and insights into the Aboriginal placenames of the Brisbane and Moreton Bay region .

The State Library of Queensland contributes to the preservation and revival of Queensland's Indigenous Languages through its Indigenous Languages Strategy and a range of activities across the Library including language workshops in the Oxley Reading Room. Dr Kerwin's presentation was timely reminder of the power and cultural importance of language.

Join us for the next Out of the Port session at 12.30 in Auditorium 2 on 20 April when Paddy Waterson will discuss the Department of Environment and Resource Management's five year survey of Queensland's historic shipwrecks.

Out of the Port is an initiative of the John Oxley Library and the Department of Environment and Resource Management's Heritage Branch. Talks are held at the State Library of Queensland on the 3rd Wednesday of every month at 12.30pm in Auditorium 2. Sessions were recorded and made available as webcasts.

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