Posted: July 24th, 2017
YMAC sends our heart-felt congratulations to Ollie George for receiving the Male Elder of the year award at the NAIDOC 2017 national award ceremony in Cairns. Mr George led several Badimia families and the Bundiyarra-Irra Wangga Language Centre on a project to create a new Badimia Dictionary, to preserve culture and language that can be shared across generations.
This year the annual NAIDOC Week theme was celebrating the importance, resilience and richness of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages. The focus: Our Languages Matter. As one of the last people living that can speak Badimia – an endangered Aboriginal language – Mr George’s 20 year commitment to documenting language and culture was recognised as a significant contribution to Aboriginal heritage.
“When I look back I’m proud because it’s my language and I’m not scared to speak my language. A lot of people in my town won’t speak it. It’s gone they reckon. But It’s not gone for me, I’ve still got it there.” Mr George said. “I’m proud to be able to share my knowledge and language with the next generation.”
Use the link below to view Ollie’s speech.