Monday, April 23, 2007

Australia's Aborigines - the need to localise

Photo: Thomas Dick Collection, Port Macquarie Historical Society, the Birpai

In my last post on what brings people to this site, I mentioned the search that had been done on the Birpai, an Aboriginal language group in the Hastings and Manning River Valleys.

The person searching would have been disappointed. So I thought that I should add a post pointing to some reference sources. But before I do so, I want to make a general point.

Without checking precise post references, I have said before how hard it is to find information about Australia's indigenous peoples at local or regional level. I think that this is a major gap.

If we really want to recognise the past of our indigenous peoples and integrate it properly into national history, we must localise it. People find it much easier to understand and identify things relevant to their own immediate areas.


I have been trawling through web pages relating to the Birpai. There is a fair bit of information but it is all over the place.

One simple, cheap and useful thing that could be done by either the NSW or Australian Governments is to pay for the creation of web sites covering the the different language groups such as the Birpai to act as a central information point.

Simple because the technology is not complex. Cheap because web costs are low, while one or two full time researchers could progressively create the content for a lot of sites in twelve months. Useful because it would help both our indigenous peoples and those like me who are interested.

No comments: