We are so excited and proud to celebrate our birdiya, Australian Senior Linguist and Language Coordinator, Denise Smith-Ali OAM. On Wednesday 3rd of May, 2023, Denise received an Order of Australia Medal for her decades of work on revitalising the Noongar Language.
Denise says about the award:
“Kaya, ngany djoorapiny noonook djinanginy.
It is an honour to be recognised to receive this OAM award. Working together on the Noongar Language over the past two decades, it has been very challenging and rewarding to rebuild, maintain and revive the Noongar Language. I work for the ancestors because they guide and create my pathway on this amazing journey. On this journey I would like to acknowledge the Elders of past and present who have walked and talked with me about their cultural knowledge of the Clans and placenames and dialects, that has created a cache of Noongar Language.
Language is embedded within our identity – if we don’t have our language, how do we heal?
To keep alive that language is what keeps alive our healing, it gets you through everything. It keeps alive our existence. It gives us a purpose.
This is why we invest, and take this language work seriously – it is the bloodlines, storylines and songlines of our Noongar nation.”
On behalf of all the staff & board at the Language Centre: Congratulations Denise! We are so happy you are getting the recognition you deserve.
For more news coverage of Denise’s award, see: