The importance of language and the connection to the country – UQ News

Dylan Berger is set to explore how language is a living form of Indigenous knowledge, as the first recipient of the University of Queensland Indigenous Languages ​​Scholarship.

A proud man of Gumbaynggirr, Dhanggati, Yuin and Birpai, Mr. Berger studied the philosophy of indigenous knowledge, but wishes to pursue it further in his doctorate.

“I would like to explore the relationship between members of the Gumbaynggirr community as human agents belonging to the Gumbaynggirr country in northern New South Wales and the Gumbaynggirr language as a living form of indigenous knowledge containing its own form of agency in the country,” Berger said.

“I hope to identify how the reciprocal nature of these relationships can generate positive benefits for both members of the Gumbaynggirr community and the Gumbaynggirr language.

“This includes improving connections with the country, culture and community and to be better able to conserve, revitalize and promote the Gumbaynggirr language.

Mr. Berger received $20,000 from the new UQ Native Languages ​​Scholarship from School of Languages ​​and Cultures.

Since graduating from high school in 2013, Mr. Berger has completed a Bachelor’s degree in Indigenous Knowledge (Honours) at Southern Cross University (SCU) and has worked with high schools, councils, organizations communities and within SCU.

“As a representative of Gumbaynggirr, part of my job has been to continuously speak, share and learn the Gumbaynggirr language in group settings,” Mr. Berger said.

He also provided cultural literacy training to local teachers and educational support staff as a member of the 3rd Space Mob Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corporation Cultural Outreach Team.

Currently undertaking his doctorate at UQ, Mr. Berger hopes to one day pursue an academic career focused on applied linguistics from an Indigenous knowledge perspective.

“I hope to inspire other First Nations people to pursue their own paths of research through academia, creating opportunities that will benefit them and their communities in their own way,” he said. declared.

The Indigenous Languages ​​Scholarship was initiated by Professor Felicity Meakins and Professor Clint Bracknellwho hope to continue the program in the years to come.

Media: UQ Communications Kristen Johnson, [email protected]+61 7 3346 1633, +61 (0)407 656 518.

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