Australia’s Indigenous people, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, were the original custodians of the land now known as Australia. These groups spoke hundreds of different languages, but the majority of them are now considered endangered. Indigenous languages hold important stories of human history, sustainable management of natural resources, and traditional knowledge, so through finding an interactive and engaging tool to promote intergenerational knowledge sharing will not only help preserve Indigenous language but promote richer cultures.
Collaborating with Indigenous communities across Australia, the Monash Country Lines Archive (MCLA) began as collaboration between Monash researchers, digital animators and post-graduate students at the Monash Indigenous Centre (MIC), Faculty of Arts and the Faculty of Information Technology (SensiLab).
Its aim was to preserve intangible heritage, languages, stories and narratives through 3D animation, and provide a methodology to facilitate the cross-generational transfer of knowledge by working with Indigenous communities across Australia.
The project has developed a library of animations that have enabled Elders and younger generations to remember and understand their culture. The affective responses to seeing these stories in a new light has deep cultural resonance, resulting in growing interest worldwide.
The Monash Country Lines Archive concluded in 2019. The animations created in this collaboration with the Faculty of Arts are now accessible as part of the project Wunungu Awara: Animating Indigenous Knowledges. Find out more on the project’s website.