Geoff Anderson is taking part in the Mother Language Meme Challenge creating memes in Wiradjuri, a revival language in Australia.
As the Language Director in the town of Parkes in Central West New South Wales, Australia, Geoff has been helping to coordinate Wiradjuri language and culture program that provides lessons to approximately 1,200 students per week, which makes up more than 10% of the town’s population. This program was highlighted in this ABC Open video. He is also oversees the media portfolio for First Languages Australia. More of Geoff’s story can be heard in this audio story.
In an interview with Rising Voices, Geoff talks about his community work sharing the language, as well as his participation in this Mother Language Meme Challenge where he has been sharing his memes on his Twitter account @AndersonGeoff and Instagram account (@geoffando_).
Rising Voices (RV): What is the current state of your language both offline and on the internet?
Geoff Anderson (GA): Many people have been working hard to use and revive Wiradjuri for a long time. The work of Uncle Stan Grant has been important in bringing the community together around language revival.
Now days, we are finding that young people are keen to take up the challenge to learn and use Wiradjuri. Our Wiradjuri app has been popular and community members have been developing online tools such as Wiradjuri kids.
And more and more we are seeing people using language in their social media. The Parkes Wiradjuri Language Group on Facebook has been a good tool for bringing people together and encouraging the use of language at home and on social media. We have 1,700 people in the group.
RV: Why did you decide to participate in the Mother Language Meme Challenge?
GA: For the past two years we were keen participants in the “Tweet in your Mother Tongue” campaign for International Mother Language Day. So collaborating on the #MemeML challenge was a natural next step.
As Media Director for First Languages Australia, I felt it was my duty to get involved, but I have been loving doing a few memes. It is heaps of fun!
The #MemeML challenge is nice and easy. If you make a meme and put in on your Instagram account you can automatically share it to Facebook and Twitter. So just one post gets to three audiences.
I have been involved with the International Mother Language Day social media activities for three years now and see them as a great way of increasing the visibility of Wiradjuri within our community and to the world.
RV: Who would you like to challenge to create a meme in this language?
GA: I would like to see each of the First Languages Australia’s committee members get involved with the project for their languages and language centres.
And I challenge our Wiradjuri Young Champion, Jason O’Neil, to share a few #MemeML this month. It would be wonderful to see the Parks Wiradjuri Language Group on Facebook come alive with #Wiradjuri #MemeML over the next few weeks.
Find more memes from the Mother Language Meme Challenge in a variety of global languages by checking out the #MemeML hashtag on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook. There is also a Facebook group for the Challenge with contributions from all across the world.