Book Feature

Saving our Endangered Indigenous Languages

Elcho Island along the Arnhem Land coast - various signs for the Yolngu language - coastal landscape

Saving our endangered Indigenous languages and the Illustrated Handbook of Yolŋu Sign Language of North East Arnhem Land.

On the Crocodile Islands, in the shade, on a beach, near a tin shed with no water and power sits an old woman in her late seventies. At this time, 1993 only 300 words of her language were recorded. Her name is Baymarrwaŋa, she speaks no English, we are unaware that in twenty-one years, she will become Senior Australian of the Year, because of her commitment to passing on the language, knowledge and signs of the ancestors.