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Vale Cathy Bow

Australian National University, Shape

Date: 27 October 2021

We mourn the loss of †Cathy Bow, a CoEDL PhD graduate who played a major role in reconciliation. Her doctoral thesis 'Entanglements of digital technologies and Indigenous language work in the Northern Territory' was awarded in 2020 and masterfully weaves articles on digital technology for Indigenous people with moving reflections of how she came to understand her relations with Aboriginal people, as a researcher, as a digital technologist and as a friend.  

Cathy is best known for her tireless work in establishing, running and promoting the Living Archive of Aboriginal Languages, which houses over 4000 digitised books in languages of the Northern Territory. She also worked with Bininj people to set up the first online Bininj Gunwok university course, enabling Bininj people to teach their language long-distance. She helped others establish similar online courses in Kriol and Gumbaynggirr, and worked with Affiliate John Giacon to bring Indigenous language professionals together in an Indigenous languages summer institute. 

Her CoEDL colleagues are grieving the loss of a graceful person who worked with Indigenous colleagues to achieve some of the most imaginative and successful recent language projects, and who was extraordinarily generous in her support for students and colleagues.

  • Australian Government
  • The University of Queensland
  • Australian National University
  • The University of Melbourne
  • Western Sydney University