Family sings to keep language alive

Family group, The Brownley Gospel Singers, not only create beautiful harmonies through their music, but also a legacy to keep their Wangkatha language alive.

‘The fact that we still sing in our language and we still speak it ourselves in our community is very important to us, because of the fear of losing it,’ Linden Brownley said. ‘It’s important that not only do we sing it, but that we also pass it on to the next generation.’

From Leonora, in Western Australia, The Brownley Gospel Singers are made of family members Trevor (Dad), Marcia (Mum) and two sons Linden and Tyrone.

‘Family singing happened ever since I can remember…ever since we were babies. Mum always sang to us and Dad always played guitar or harmonica. There was always music around us.’

Now the family shares their talents with the wider community, performing at community events such as the Denmark Festival of Voice in Western Australia, which this year focused on the 2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages.

‘For us to be able to share our language in song with our non-Aboriginal brothers and sisters is something that makes us proud, because it’s one of the original languages of this continent that we live on.

‘It’s important that we share (our language) because it helps with communication and that’s the main thing that can help break down barriers – being able to talk to each other and being able to understand each other.’

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