The Territory Labor Government and Regional Leaders of East Arnhem Land today signed an agreement to work towards more local decision making. The commitment marks a new and better way of working together to properly recognise and support local decision making, service delivery and empowerment in the Yolngu region.
Yolŋu Rom Napurrn Dhukarr: A Living Room Project – Galiwin’ku Community Library
On the 1 August in the big city lights of the Gold Coast, Council’s Regional Manager Children, Families & Library Services, Carol Stableford, shared the story of the Yolŋu Rom Napurrn Dhukarr – the Living Room Project. A project partnership with Northern Territory Library.
Here’s the Abstract from the Asia Pacific Libraries and Information Conference where the presentation was made to a room full of delegates.
When Melvill Dewey first created the Dewey Decimal Classification System, we wonder did he envisage it would continue to be used more than 100 years later in remote Aboriginal community libraries in Australia?
There is a very remote community called Galiwin’ku off the coast of East Arnhem Land. Just over 2,000 people live in this island community, which is only accessible by sea or air. The Galiwin’ku community recently opened a brand new library of which they are justifiably proud.
In Galiwin’ku, like many multilingual Aboriginal communities, English is not the first, second or fourth language for many people in the community, and western mathematical concepts are not aligned with Yolŋu mathematical concepts. So the Dewey Decimal System upon which their local library collection is classified is an artificial construct. This means that we have a local Aboriginal community collection, classified according to Western knowledge constructs, created by an American in 1873. This classification practice is repeated in all Aboriginal Community Libraries throughout the Northern Territory.
We think there is another way. A Yolŋu way.
The Northern Territory Library and East Arnhem Regional Council are partnering in a unique and innovative pilot. Together, we hope to architect a new user experience for community library officers and their community using the ‘living room concept’. We plan to challenge ‘the Dewey’ and realign community collections in a Yolŋu way ie. In respect to concepts of classification and how they relate to Aboriginal knowledge.
We don’t know yet if this project will be successful, but we are willing to try and share our journey with you.
This is a story about a quiet revolution in a tiny community of 2,500 people, on a small island off the coast of Arnhem Land. An Aboriginal Community Library where we dare to create a new way, a Yolŋu way of classifying a library’s collection. A way, we hope will lead to more quiet revolutions, disrupting and energising community libraries throughout the Northern Territory and beyond.
East Arnhem Regional Council has recently acquired three new portable LED display screens thanks to valuable funding from the NT Government and Australian Governments through the Natural Disaster Resilience Program.
The $100 000 funding has enabled Council to purchase the portable screens for Gapuwiyak, Ramingining and Angurugu and will be used to support community readiness measures, disaster warning and emergency response information for all natural hazards, in particular, cyclonic events.
Staff training has been undertaken ensuring the most is made from these fantastic screens and the community has benefited already at sporting events, movie nights and back to school messaging!
East Arnhem Regional Council has prepared the Annual Report for financial year ended 30 June 2016.
The 2015/2016 Annual Report contains: report on Operations, Performance and Audited Financial Statements for Year Ended 30 June 2016.
Hard copies can be viewed at all East Arnhem Regional Council offices. To view or download a copy of the report, follow this link to the Publications & Resources Centre.
The Annual Report was discussed by Council on 23 November 2016 at the EARC Nhulunbuy Headquarters Council Chambers.