What is LEAP?

In 2019, UNESCO’s International Year of Indigenous Languages, the MLT and community partners formed the Lake Eyre Activation Project (LEAP).

LEAP is a newly-established large scale, areal project that seeks to develop and deliver Aboriginal language learning resources and improved social wellbeing outcomes for communities within the Lake Eyre Basin in northern South Australia.

LEAP covers over 1 million square kilometers and is a tri-state project.

Why LEAP?

For many thousands of years Aboriginal languages groups and their communities have shared language, trade, religious ceremony and traditional knowledge while working cooperatively to enable survival in a harsh environment. Through the LEAP project, the MLT in partnership with local Aboriginal communities, aims to reactivate and reinforce these ancient connections to establish a stronger and more enduring basis for language and social wellbeing activities.

Unlike any other past or present language and social wellbeing project, LEAP takes an areal (or broader regional) perspective. This means that the lessons learned from activities within the wider region and resources produced can be pooled to maximise language and social wellbeing outcomes.

Why LEAP?

Primarily based in the north of South Australia, LEAP is a tri state project that includes South Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory.

Going wherever the Lake Eyre drainage basin goes the LEAP project works with language communities in over 1 million square kilometers of outback Australia, aiming to provide a large scale, areal perpsective of language and community activation.

Teaming up with partner organisations and working closely with grassroot community organisations, LEAP is a first of its kind, areal project that aims to team up neighbouring language communities and projects with each other to build upon their success and

Timeline for LEAP

The timeline for LEAP is long term. Building strong communities with language economies requires ambitious projects in cooperation with long term investment and commitment to the people, their towns and their languages.

1 Year

The first year will see several small to medium scale projects in Leigh Creek, Finniss Springs and Oodnadatta that engage directly with the language economies of the Adnyamanthanha, Arabana, Yankunytjartjara and Souther Arrernte languages. These projects will set the guide for the scale and impact of future projects to be completed over the next 5 years in a cyclical fashion.

We also intend to hire at least one young Aboriginal Language Resource Officer to work on these projects in tandem with MLT staff.

3 Years

Within 3 years we hope to develop a funding model that will see stable and continued investment in language projects and initiatives that directly incentive our target communities to continue to be on country building their language communities and capacities.

The aim of these projects is to develop the beginnings of language economies that can begin to sustain themselves through independent funding schemes and sustainable language economic streams.

This period sees the continuation of tangible yearly projects, continued employment of young Aboriginal staff in trainee positions and looks towards larger research initiatives that begin to document and understand the effects LEAP has had upon these languages and communities.

5 Years

Within 5 years we hope to have developed a series of language economies that have the capacity to run successful and expanded language presences in the target communities of LEAP. Across the Lake Eyre Basin we hope to see language communities in comprehensive multi directional resource and knowledge exchanges fostering sustainability and growth amongst their language economies.

This 5 year mark will also see the completion of an in depth research study into LEAP and the effect it has had upon the languages and communities of the Lake Eyre Basin. The aim of this research is to provide a model and recommendations for other broad macro scale initiatives to work with, and build, their language economies, communities and capacities across Australia and the world.

Commencing Date Description Funding
July 2019 Continue developing Leigh Creek immersion school curriculumf for Adnyamanthanha language. Funded
July 2019 Hire Aboriginal Language and Education trainee to work on projects in Adnyamanthanha and Arabana language projects. Unfunded
November 2019 Commence language curriculum evaluation research for Leigh Creek immersion school curriculum. Tendered
July 2019 Build language and cultural bike trail around Leigh Creek area as part of a tourism stimulation effort with Bikes SA. Unfunded

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