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Director weekly highlights 16 July

Jane Simpson, Outreach

Date: 15 July 2021

Much sympathy to colleagues in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney over restrictions and lockdowns. And deep sympathy also to colleagues in the University of Western Australia, which has announced a plan to close Anthropology and Sociology. The Vice-Chancellor says that the decision is based on falling student demand, that students can get the same content through courses in the School of Indigenous Studies, and that "from the learning outcome point of view it will not be different." This is a strong argument against bland, generic learning outcomes that don't refer to discipline-specific content, methods and skills. And it's an argument for making clear to the public what our skills and knowledge actually are. There's a petition asking for a reconsideration of the decision here. 

Amidst the gloom, some excellent news on projects and their fundingPete Worthy's MRFF Dementia, Ageing and Aged Care – TechCBT - grant on helping people with dementia and their families, and Felicity Meakins and Affiliate Penny Smith's success in getting an ABA grant for the Murnkurt: Gurindji Termite Project. It's lovely to see these multidisciplinary projects, bringing language to the forefront. And there are some interesting multidisciplinary workshops coming up - Indigenous histories is one, and Birds and language another, where CoEDL's Julia Miller will be presenting.

Check out Catherine Travis's elegant talk in the Abralin series, with a good discussion led by James Walker. Hold the date for the hybrid event Language variation and change - Australia 5 that Catherine, James and Celeste Rodriguez Louro, are organising in conjunction with the annual Australian Linguistics Society (ALS) conference.  

As we near the end of the Centre, our minds have been turning to CoEDL's data futures. First, a reminder to everyone working on Australian Indigenous languages that we have a data partnership with AIATSIS. If there is AIATSIS material you would like expedited access to, now's the time to talk with Lauren Reed (Doug Marmion is on long service leave)But also, talk to AIATSIS about archiving your data there. And for people working outside Australia - talk with Julia Miller about archiving your data in PARADISEC. Get in now before the rush!! There's a lot to think about in preparing material for archiving - check out the helpful guides on the CoEDL webpage here.  

Second, those corpora... Wolfgang Barth is keen to work with people about creating curated corpora in ANNIS. Check out Gerlingo to see how it's going. Also if you're interested in structuring your data, Nick Thieberger is presenting today on the Text Encoding Initiative. 

I caught up with the ERA EI Review Final Report, on the ARC websiteThere's a lot to take in. But there are some immediate tasks. Some are fairly easy - ensuring that you have an ORCID and that you use it in your publications, and making sure you use DOIs and/or permanent URLS in citing work. In publishing, think about your by-line, as, after 2023, they plan to move away from the current "everything you've done in the last six years regardless of which university" to "what's the by-line on the publication?". The ARC is also strongly encouraging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander researchers through the new ANZSRC Indigenous codes - a game-changer. We look forward to working with them on putting this into practice - how to recognise discipline-specific knowledge and area knowledge. How should we apportion the percentages with discipline-specific codes? Is your work 90% Linguistics and 10% Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander languages, or vice versa? Your university may have views - does it want to look fabulous in Indigenous Studies or Linguistics, or semi-fabulous in both? It helps to think about this ahead of time, because re-coding FOR codes is a total pain. 

Ending on other good news… Felicity Meakins and Patrick McConvell's Gurindji Grammar is now on the publishers' website! . Rush out and order it for your library now! 


Keep safe! 

Jane Simpson
Acting Director

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