Anaiwan Language Revival Program

Daŋgana ndaga? Nyaŋa ndaga waŋan?

[How are you? What brings you here?]

Members of the local Anaiwan community first met in April 2016 to form the Anaiwan Language Revival Program. We identified and acted on the need for a concerted, community-based and community-driven Anaiwan language revival effort. We’ve been meeting almost every month to discuss our progress and to provide direction to the program. Our main project at this point is the development of the first Anaiwan language knowledge book, including the most comprehensive dictionary and grammar to date, based on all available archival material. To achieve this goal, to produce what will become the foundation of a sustained community language revival program, we had to go back to square one - the research stage. Our goal is to compile as much of our language in the most accurate and accessible way possible.

A group photo of members attending the first meeting of the Anaiwan Language Revival Program


‘A revival of the first language’ (Armidale Express - December 6, 2016)

‘Armidale group push to revive the ancient Aboriginal Anaiwan language’ (Armidale Express - July 6, 2017)

'A holistic approach to Aboriginal languages in NSW: Reparations, Self-Determination & Land Justice' (by Callum Clayton-Dixon - September 26, 2017)

Decolonizing the Anaiwan language

Ambēyaŋ man and UNE student Callum Clayton-Dixon is spearheading the research component of the Language Revival Program (*Ambēyaŋ is a clan/dialect of the ‘Anaiwan’ tribal/language group located in the south of the New England Tableland region). After completing a year of the Master of Applied Linguistics (MAAL), Callum commenced a research degree at UNE in January 2017. The title of his research is ‘Decolonising the Anaiwan language’.

For indigenous peoples, language is not simply a tool for communication; language is a medium for relating with kin and country in a healthy and proper way. Colonisation has dislocated people from country, and the same has happened to our language. Decolonisation is therefore the undoing of this destructive process. Our language was written down on pages now gathering dust in library and university archives. The people speaking our language were written out of history, along with much of the cultural context and connection to country inherent in Aboriginal languages. In putting community, country, and culture back into the language, we are determined to breathe new life into our ancient tongue, and this is just the beginning of a long journey ahead.

Anaiwan Language Revival Program membership application form:

Facebook page:

Contact the Language Revival Program:

Contact Callum:

Anaiwan Language Hub: 93 Faulkner Street, Armidale NSW 2350

Account details for direct donations

Bank - Regional Australia Bank

Account Name - Uyitika Anaiwan Language Revival Program

Account Number - 752311

BSB Number - 932000

*BSB Number is 932000S3 if transferring from a Regional Australia Bank account

Nyaga uyi-di-ga lanabura

[Let’s all speak soon]