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state library of queensland

Old words, new ways

Jingeri art

Old words, new ways

Continuing the language journey

This exhibition is in the past.
8 August 2020 - 7 March 2021
kuril dhagun, level 1, State Library

Old words, new ways is an upcoming showcase that continues the language journey that began with Spoken and Jarjum stories.

Australia was home to more than 250 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages and 600 dialects before British arrival in 1770. Today, less than 50 of these are thriving. Only two are in Queensland. An estimated 100 ‘surviving’ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages are being maintained. The remaining 650 are considered ‘sleeping’.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are on a long journey to awaken languages once deemed ‘lost’. Communities are creating new knowledge to share their stories and using language in innovative ways. This showcase celebrates some of this work and the resilience of community to maintain, revive and speak their language.

Story Time

Mad Magpie by Gregg Dreise

Kamilaroi author/illustrator Gregg Dreise reads his award winning book, Mad Magpie.

Culture quest

Keep Indigenous languages alive and join us for a culture quest online. Find the animals and colour in the picture. As you go, complete the language challenge by pairing the English word with the listed First Nations language word using our online resources and tools!

Culture quest

PDF · 472 KB


A school group visits the kuril dhagun talking circle
Indigenous languages
Early, middle and senior years
Download resources
Language toolkits
Useful information to promote community language revival programs and activities.
Learn more

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