ALMOST a decade ago, Endangered Languages Professor at the University of Adelaide, Ghil’ad Zuckermann, worked with the Indigenous South Australian communities in Port Lincoln, Whyalla and Port Augusta to revive their Barngarla language.
He created learning resources including a dictionary app and website, ran regular workshops, and published an illustrated children’s Barngarla language book in 2019.
Last month, his latest book in the series, Mangiri Yarda [Healthy Country] – co-written with Barngarla woman Emma Richards – was launched by Flinders MP Peter Treloar at a ceremony in Port Lincoln.
Zuckermann said the new book is a resource that aims to further increase the wellbeing of the Barngarla people by strengthening their connections through their language, which had been lost for more than 50 years.
“Through language revival, you improve health,” Zuckermann, who is also president of the Australian Association for Jewish Studies, said at the launch.
“This, in turn, will lead to other opportunities [for the Barngarla people].
“[Because] health cannot happen in Aboriginal culture without [connection to] country.”
The book is available for sale at Port Lincoln’s visitor information centre.