In the lead-up to International Women's Day 2019 on Friday March 8 we are highlighting extraordinary women working to preserve Indigenous languages.

6 March 2019

One of these is Emily Wurramara, who sings, inspires and empowers members of her community, especially young Indigenous women, to find their voice.

She sings in both English and language and the inspiration for her latest album Milyakburra comes from the language of her mother tongue Anindilyakwa.

'Language is important to me because it's important to archive and to preserve stories and history,' Emily said.

She spent time with her Elders so she could include language on her album.

'I had to go back and ask my aunty and grandparents questions because it's such a particular type of language. When we talk, we talk in a melodic tone.'

Growing up on Groote Eylandt in the Gulf of Carpentaria, Emily heard her uncles sing, but realised that women from her community rarely sang in public. She was determined to change that.

Combining music and language is a way for Emily to connect with her home and to celebrate the stories and places that make her who she is.

Her debut Album Milyakburra was nominated for the 2018 ARIA Award for Best Blues and Roots Album.

Music is just one way of raising awareness of the importance of language to culture and heritage, which is the focus of the 2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages.

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