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Published on Jul 5, 2016
My WA is a collaborative activity between the Department of Education and Celebrate WA. The project provides opportunities for all Western Australian public schools to promote a shared sense of Western Australian community and what it means to be a Western Australian. Story books in Aboriginal English provide teachers and students with a unique resource that recognises and values cultural diversity in Western Australia and uses languages of Aboriginal people.
Working together using a two way approach to teaching, an experienced writer, Aboriginal students, communities and local Aboriginal organisations have developed culturally and contextually appropriate story books in Aboriginal English. The project was informed by the Department’s Aboriginal Cultural Standards Framework.
Wiluna is a Martu community where Mantjitjarra is the main Aboriginal language amongst other Western Desert languages. Martu English is widely spoken and students at Wiluna Remote Community School are learning Standard Australian English as an additional language or dialect. Other languages such as Fijiian, Tongan and Mandarin are spoken by families and workers in this small community of about 200 people.