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Video: Meet Felicity Meakins

Felicity Meakins, Shape, University of Queensland

Date: 22 November 2019

Centre Chief Investigator Felicity Meakins is Associate Professor at the School of Languages and Cultures at The University of Queensland, an ARC Future Fellow, and the Deputy Director of our UQ node.

Felicity’s work focuses on language evolution and contact processes across northern Australia, where she has worked for the past 19 years. She specialises in the documentation of Australian languages in the Victoria River District in northern Australia and the effect of English on Indigenous languages. She has worked as a community linguist and academic, facilitating language revitalisation programs, consulting on Native Title claims and conducting research into Indigenous languages.

Felicity’s recent outputs with CoEDL include as co-compiler on the Ngarinyman and Mudburra dictionaries, a paper in Language developing new population genetics methods to model language change, a chapter in Archival Returns: Central Australia and Beyond and co-producer of the award-winning Gurindji Takataka sign language videos.

Felicity studied at the University of Queensland between 1995-2001. Between 2001 and 2004 she worked as a community linguist at Diwurruwurru-jaru Aboriginal Corporation facilitating revitalisation programs for Bilinarra and Ngarinyman people. She joined the Aboriginal Child Language project (University of Melbourne) in 2004 as a PhD student, completing it in 2008. She then continued documenting Gurindji, Bilinarra and Gurindji Kriol as a part of the Jaminjungan and Eastern Ngumpin DOBES project, then with her own ELDP grant at the University of Manchester and finally returned to UQ with an ARC APD and then an ARC DECRA.

Felicity is the author of: Case-Marking in Contact (Benjamins, 2011), Bilinarra to English Dictionary (Batchelor Press, 2013) and a co-author of Bilinarra, Gurindji and Malngin Plants and Animals (LRM, 2012), A Grammar of Bilinarra (Mouton, 2013), Gurindji to English Dictionary (Batchelor Press, 2013), Kawarla: How to Make a Coolamon (Batchelor Press, 2014), Understanding Linguistic Fieldwork (2018, Routledge), Jingulu and Mudburra Plants and Animals (2018, Batchelor Press), Ngarinyman to English Dictionary (2019, Aboriginal Studies Press), Birrka Marnini: Making Things Mudburra (Batchelor Press, 2019), and Karu: Growing up Gurindji (Spinifex Press, 2019). She is also the co-editor of Loss and Renewal: Australian Languages since Colonisation (Mouton, 2016), Yijarni: True Stories from Gurindji Country (2016, Aboriginal Studies Press) and Mayarni-kari Yurrk: More Stories from Gurindji Country (2016, Batchelor Press).


(This video was recorded at the Centre's annual member conference, CoEDLFest 2019.)

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