Australia and New Zealand report
Full report on the Noongarpedia project published 31 December 2016;
- Full Report is at http://cultural-science.org/journal/index.php/culturalscience/issue/view/15
The Noongarpedia project started in February 2014 with the question of Why was there no noongar language Wikipedia?. While this appears at first glance to be the simplest of questions to answer with "well no one has started it yet" the reality of creating a full language project is extremely complex. We didn't just have to follow the steps outlined at meta and incubator we had to deal with a community that has suffered 200 years of abuse, neglect and deliberate outright intentional decisions in an attempt wipe their existence away. The Noongar people are from the South West of Western Australia and like many Indigenous Australian cultures are one of the longest existing cultures anywhere in the world.
The project had multiple aspects to investigate and answer the primary question posed, to do that they had also make it possible for nys.wikipedia to be created, currently its at the incubator stage with about 500 pages 70-80 contributors. The group leading the project were Professor Len Collard (University of Western Australia), Professor Kim Scott (Curtin University), Professor John Hartley (Curtin University) and Niall Lucy (deceased), researchers Ingrid Cumming and Jennie Buchanan. Ingrid and Jennie organised all the outreach events, Professor Dave Palmer (Murdoch University), Professor Ben Smith (UWA), Clint Bracknell (University of Sydney), Damien Webb (State Library of Western Australia), Gideon Digby (Wikimedia Australia), many Nyoongar Elders and many Wikipedians also assisted on the projects development. The success came because of the way in which relationships were built, respect paid to the laws and customs of the Noongar people as well as ensuring that Noongar community was not just part of the project but helping to guide its development.
The project conducted talks, workshops, wikibombs and developed Wikipedians in Residence the report discusses in-depth all aspects of those and the outcomes. We also worked with students from 6 years old to adult post graduate students. There are insights to many aspects of working with the various communities, importantly for GLAMs working with oppressed minorities and Indigenous cultures with primarily intangible sources its offers a guide to work with Wikimedia projects as a way of breaking down barriers, developing connections and sharing knowledge.
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