Passing on the gift of language

Passing on the gift of language

04 April 2023

Events and initiatives Public school life

Inspired to keep his native language alive, Aboriginal language teacher graduate Gavin Smith has taken matters into his own hands.

The 2023 Aboriginal language teacher graduates.

The Fitzroy Crossing local was recently part of the 20th induction of the Department of Education’s Aboriginal language teachers. 

The milestone represented another step towards preserving and revitalising Indigenous languages in Western Australia, with more than 100 teachers already graduating from the program.

Mr Smith is set to teach his native language, Gooniyandi, at Bayulu Remote Community School.

"I want to make a big impact back at home,” Mr Smith said. “My people, we struggle with language and it's going to fade away if we don't keep language alive.

"That's why I took it upon myself to say, 'I've got to do something to keep it alive’.

"We're the First Nations People of this land. We need more people to teach language." 

Director of Teaching Quality and Innovation Judith King had the honour of presenting the graduation certificates to the latest cohort. 

The new Aboriginal language teachers during induction.

"To have members of their own family and their own community go out and do this training and then bring that knowledge back, that has the biggest impact on children," Ms King said. 

"Our graduates are going to go back to country, back to their communities, and help build a love of language with children.”

Check out the highlights from our latest graduation on our Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn.