• Angelina Joshua trials 'My Grandmother's Lingo' on a tablet at home in Arnhem Land (Photo by Elise Derwin for SBS)
SBS has won the Multimedia Storytelling Walkley for an interactive documentary about attempts to preserve endangered Indigenous languages.
SBS News

2 Dec 2016 - 9:30 PM  UPDATED 3 Dec 2016 - 10:37 AM

The SBS animation 'My Grandmother's Lingo' has won prestigious journalism accolade the Walkley Award for Multimedia Storytelling.

The interactive online documentary highlights the plight of Indigenous languages through the story of young Aboriginal woman Angelina Joshua, who grew up not being able to speak her traditional language Marra.

Only three people in Ms Joshua's East Arnhem Land community of Ngukurr speak the language, and she has been working with a local language centre to learn and teach Marra.

The online interactive combines voice-activated gaming technology and animation to tell the story, with the project spotlighting Aboriginal stories, Aboriginal poems and Aboriginal songs.

It was animated by Gamilaroi illustrator Jake Duczynski, with sound design by Wiradjuri musician Kuren aka Curtis Kennedy.

“My grandmother’s language is important, and it’s up to us to keep it alive; to teach it," Ms Joshua told SBS.

"My grandmother was a very fluent Marra speaker. But a couple of years ago she passed. It was hard losing her – I thought, ‘Where am I going to learn now? This old lady taught us everything in Marra."

Explore My Grandmother's Lingo
My Grandmother's Lingo
An interactive documentary that tells the personal story of Angelina Joshua, a young Aboriginal woman dedicated to preserving her endangered Indigenous culture through language.

“The language it’s our identity - culture, totems, countries, and skin names,” Ms Joshua said. “It’s dying, you know - it’s fading away really slowly.”

The SBS project was also developed and produced by Gina McKeon, Boris Etingof and John-Paul Marin.

‘My Grandmother’s Lingo’ illustrator pours personal passion into this unique new interactive
For illustrator Jake Duczynski, a tragic event that occurred while he was working on ‘My Grandmother’s’ Lingo’ gave the project a powerful new personal meaning as he sought to help preserve one of Australia’s many disappearing Indigenous languages.
Rising music star Kuren lends talents to help preserve Indigenous language
DJ, Producer and the winner of Triple J Unearthed’s 2016 NIMA contest, Curtis Kennedy aka Kuren is just 18-years-old but is already gaining a steady following on the Aussie music scene. Now he’s contributing his talents to a very worthy cause via SBS’s unique new interactive, ‘My Grandmother’s Lingo’.