Part 2: Daryn McKenny, CEO MIROMAA - On Saving First Languages

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Listen in to the second part of my great conversation with Daryn McKenny, CEO of Miromaa Aboriginal Language and Technology about the work he and Miromaa do with First People's language centres, individuals, rangers and communities to help preserve and conserve their languages in Australia and internationally.

It's all about inspiring work Daryn has been doing for over twenty years, work that's set to grow and be amplified by the UN International Decade of Indigenous Languages 2022-2032. The Decade calls for urgent steps at national and international levels to revive and strengthen indigenous languages whose complex knowledges and the cultures they foster embed human rights and are key resources for good governance, peace building and sustainable development.

Daryn is a Gamilaraay and Wiradjuri man born on Awabakal country, where he lives and Founded the Miromaa Aboriginal Language and Technology Centre in 2002, with an initial focus to revive the Awabakal language and culture in Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and the Lower Hunter Valley. Miromaa is an Awabakal word, meaning "Saved, to stop from loss" and that's what Daryn, his team and the technologies they've developed and freely share powerfully enable and 'do'.

Our conversation leads off with some of the highlights from the PULiiMA Indigenous Language and Technology Conference 2019, held during the International Year of Indigenous Languages in Darwin.

We then dig in to talk about Miromaa's technologies and the free services they offer. Technologies developed by Aboriginal people for Aboriginal people - unique, practical can do options that provide culturally safe, secure and easy ways for people to take action to conserve and preserve their languages. Check out the Miromaa website for impressive  testimonials and the map of where Miromaa are creating change internationally. I love the stories Daryn shares in our chat: about working with Santa Fe youth to support their Young Ancestors language projects; about how a Turkish teenage grandson contacted Miromaa for help to record his grandmother's rare and endangered Turkish dialect. 

Miromaa is a not for profit well worth supporting.

Listen through to hear Daryn's three call outs for support to help Miromaa grow their reach and impact (and get in touch with Daryn to support Miromaa!).

  1. Technology and architecture upgrades to keep pace with growing needs and wants of communities;
  2. App Development Support - so more people can use their pocket 'computers' - their phones - to record their languages, and
  3. Team Capacity and Resources - to help meet the huge and growing community demand for Miromaa's support (time is of the essence to preserve and conserve languages 'now'!). 

As Daryn shares, protecting, knowing and using language is not just for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people - it's for all of us, wherever we're from, so that together we can better hear, see and care for country and this beautiful place we call home. 

Bravo Daryn. Thanks so much for sharing your passion and the Miromaa story. 

Learn more about Miromaa, partners, supporters and where they work; to contact Daryn; or to get involved via their website @ https://www.miromaa.org.au/

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