We play on our land. We learn from our ancestors. We belong with our communities.

2 August 2019

National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day highlights the importance of access to culturally appropriate early learning for kids.

And there’s a fantastic ABC Kids Listen podcast series called ‘Little Yarns’ providing just that.

Each episode of ‘Little Yarns’ takes young listeners on a journey to a different part of the country.

‘We are focused on capturing the diversity of Indigenous Australia and trying to make sure we talk to people from across the country because language, culture and experiences are different depending on where you are,” host Rudi Bremer said.

Rudi is from the Gamilaroi people, whose lands extend from north-west New South Wales to southern Queensland.

'Growing up I only knew a handful of Gamilaraay words, most of which are really practical — like body parts. My mum was raised on a mission and mob weren’t allowed to speak our language. There’s been a lot of work done in community to revitalise our language and now I’m hoping to learn more because for me, speaking my language, even if it’s not fluently, is a way of honouring my ancestors.'

Rudi’s goal with ‘Little Yarns’ is to celebrate Indigenous culture and language with a program that is fun and informative for children, parents and educators alike.

‘Our main aim is to get kids excited about language and talking about it,’ Rudi said. ‘Kids are involved in the podcasts too and we’ve had a great response. I don’t even know how to explain how exciting it is! I have a lot of younger cousins, nieces and nephews and I know they are listening which is cool.

‘People have this misconception our languages either don't exist or they're dead languages. I prefer the term sleeping languages, because you can wake a language up if it's sleeping.

‘Little Yarns’ is a terrific initiative taking place during the 2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages.

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