MyLanguage 2012 Conference Presentations now available

The second national MyLanguage Conference was hosted by the State Library of Queensland in August 2012, in partnership with Public Libraries South Australia and State Libraries of New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia and Libraries ACT.

The 2012 conference MyLanguage – Connecting, Collaborating, Creating had the focus of exploring digital futures for multicultural Australia, especially ways of connecting communities, collaborating and creating digital opportunities.

The conference presentations are now available on the MyLanguage website.

Multicultural newspapers now available online on Trove

Newspapers that tell Australia’s multicultural stories in their own language are now available online through the National Library of Australia’s award-winning Trove discovery service.

Under the National Library’s Australian Newspaper Digitisation Program, selected German, Italian and Estonian community newspapers have now been digitised. They include German newspapers The Adelaider Deutsche Zeitung (1851 and 1860-62), Suedaustralische Zeitung/ Sud-Australische Zeitung (1850-1851), Sud-Australische Zeitung (1860-1874), an Italian newspaper, Il Giornale Italiano (The Italian Journal) (1932-1940) and an Estonian newspaper, Meie Kodu (Our Home – 1949-1954).

Director of Digitisation and Photography at the National Library of Australia, Wan Wong, said these were the first non-English language newspapers to be delivered through Trove, the National Library’s free discovery service.
‘These newspapers reflect the diversity of the Australian community in its early years,’ she said. ‘They provide an alternative glimpse into our history, telling the migrant experience in their own language.’

The oldest newspapers, from Germany, date back to May 1850. Although they focused mainly on news from the homeland, they also found room for market prices and ads for pills and ointments.

The first edition of the Italian Journal describes itself as ‘non-political, non-partisan, non-sectarian but bright, breezy, newsy and fearless ….’ it was specifically designed for the thousands of Italian workers who migrated to Australia. Content ranged from headlines urging readers to rely on Mussolini to save world peace to recipes for fish with baked potatoes.

The Estonian paper, Meie Kodu, which is still published today, acknowledged, in its first issue in 1949, that publication may be an ambitious venture with the total number of Estonians in the country at only 3000 – but steadily increasing.

Selection of community language newspapers for this pilot digitisation project was based on whether the titles were microfilmed, their copyright status and on specific interest from local communities.

Through the National Library’s newspaper digitisation project, 7 million pages, from a total of 270 newspapers are available online through Trove. To find these multicultural newspapers search the alphabetical list under “Show all titles” at

New MyLanguage website

After six years of operation, MyLanguage, a web portal to multilingual information resources for new and emergent Australian communities, has been relaunched in Adelaide at the FECCA (Federation of Ethnic Communities Council of Australia) conference on Friday November 18.

Mr Hieu Van Le, Lieutenant Governor of South Australia and Chairman of the South Australian Multicultural and Ethnic Affairs Commission, launched the new MyLanguage web portal saying: ‘What we have in MyLanguage is perhaps one of the most valuable tools for living that newly arrived Australians can get their hands on today. It provides a whole suite of important pieces of information – and in more than 65 languages. If you’ve just settled here, if your English is still developing, and if you’re looking to find your feet in a rather unfamiliar place, then this is the website for you’.

MyLanguage reflects Australia’s position as one of the most multicultural countries on earth and seeks to simplify access to important online information resources for a culturally and linguistically diverse population.

The new portal provides clear links to multilingual search engines, web directories, government websites, online dictionaries, and syndicated news headlines. It also contains translations of online government and community information relating to health, legal issues, settlement, education and public libraries along with information on multilingual library collections around Australia.

MyLanguage national manager, Brendan Fitzgerald, says the new MyLanguage website is all about making life easier and more inclusive for Australia’s non-English speaking population. ‘Through the delivery of quality language services MyLanguage ensures that individuals from non-English speaking communities have fair and equitable access to services such as health, education, housing and the justice system.’

MyLanguage is a joint partnership between the State Libraries of Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia; Public Libraries Services South Australia, the Northern Territory Library and Libraries ACT.

The new MyLanguage website is now live at:

Conservation Advice at Santa Maria College Attadale

Douglas Firth, proprietor of BIBLIO FOLIO, will provide conservation advice on paper based objects including books, pamphlets, artworks on paper, and board games etc. at the Santa Maria College in Attadale on Friday July 29 from 1.30 to 3.30pm.

Douglas Firth has a wealth of experience in book and paper conservation, gained while working in the public and private sector.

He has been involved with the conservation of many items in the Archives Office of New South Wales, Westpac Archives New South Wales, State Library of Western Australia, and State Archives of Western Australia. He was involved in the rescue of fire damaged materials after the Hal Missingham Studio fire of 1986, and has the privilege to have bound books  for Her Majesty the Queen, the Duyfken Replica logbook, and preservation boxes for many rare books.

Along with archival conservation he has also conserved many works of art on paper by Australian artists and has developed a special interest in Western Australian artists. BIBLIO FOLIO also offers a frame restoration service for customers wishing to maintain historical accuracy for their work of art.

For more information about this session please telephone  9457 7960. RSVP: by close of  business Wednesday July 26. Cost for the session is $25.

Please bring along any objects you would like assessed for conservation to the session.

Kingsley Fairbridge and the Fairbridge Farm School

Kingsley Fairbridge (5 May 1885 – 19 July 1924) was the founder of a child emigration scheme to the British colonies, and the Fairbridge Farm Schools. His life work was the founding of the “Society for the Furtherance of Child Emigration to the Colonies”, which was afterwards incorporated as the “Child Emigration Society” and ultimately the “Fairbridge Society”.

Throughout his life, Kingsley Fairbridge never lost sight of his aim to provide assistance to children who had very little chance of a successful life in the overcrowded cities of Britain.

In March 1912 Kingsley Fairbridge and his wife Ruby sailed for Western Australia with 2000 pounds. A property of 160 acres was purchased near Pinjarra about 60 miles (97 km) south of Perth, with the  Western Australian government  agreeing to pay 6 pounds for each child towards the cost of the passage money.

After several months of clearing of the property, as well as building basic accommodation (mainly tents), the first party of 13 boys, aged between 7 and 13, arrived in January 1913. In July they were followed by a second group of 22 boys.

There were severe financial difficulties during World War I until the government provided a grant that assisted the school through the war period. In August 1919 Kingsley Fairbridge went to England and managed to raise a sum of 27,000 pounds for the development of the school. The British Government’s Overseas Settlement Committee provided 20,000 pounds on condition that the Western Australian Government continued its grant of 6 shillings per week per child.

Kingsley Fairbridge died at the early age of 39 of a  lymphatic tumour and was buried at his school. The Fairbridge Farm School continued under a principal. At the time of Kingsley Fairbridge’s death, 200 children were at the school, and enrolment gradually reached a peak of 400.

The Old Fairbridgians’ Association of Western Association was formed in 1930 to serve as a benevolent organisation to enhance the welfare of Old Fairbridgians, those children whose home for part of their lives was at the Kingsley Fairbridge Farm School near Pinjarra in Western Australia.

The Old Fairbridgians’ Association hosts a Founder’s Day in honour of Kingsley Fairbridge. Each year on the Sunday closest to Kingsley’s passing (July 19 1924) many Old Fairbridgians make a pilgrimage to Fairbridge Farm and remember Kingsley and also meet up with old friends over lunch in the Clubhouse. All Old Fairbridgians and friends of Fairbridge are very welcome.

This year the Founder’s Day is being held on Sunday July 17, commencing with a service in the chapel at 11.00 am to commemorate the death of Kingsley Fairbridge, followed by lunch in the Old Fairbridgians’ Association clubhouse.

For more information on Kingsley Fairbridge and the Fairbridge Farm School, go to the Old Fairbridgians’ Association website:

Would you like to speak better English?

Would you like to speak better English?

Join a FREE conversation group.

Meetings are held at:
Wanneroo Library // every Monday // 9.30am – 11am
Wanneroo Library & Cultural Centre
Rocca Way, Wanneroo
Ph: 9405 5940

Clarkson Library // every Friday // 9.30am – 11am
Ocean Keys Boulevard, Clarkson
Ph: 9407 1600

Girrawheen Library // every Thursday // 9.30am – 11am
Girrawheen meetings held at:
BJL – Connecting Communities
11 Patrick Court Girrawheen (Situated behind Girrawheen Library)
Ph: 9342 8844

For more information please contact your local centre
Evening sessions coming soon in the Girrawheen area

* Note: for you to attend this group, you should already be able to speak a little English

Ethnic Communities Council of WA (ECCWA) Book Fair on Saturday May 7 2011

There are only two days to go until the Ethnic Communities Council of WA (ECCWA) book fair on Saturday 7th May!

The fair will be at 20 View St North Perth, from 10.00 am to 4.00 pm.

There are almost 4000 books as well as magazines, DVDs, CDs, videos, cassette tapes and jigsaws available.

Entry is by gold coin donation and all books and other materials are free. All donations go towards the ECCWA Literacy and Reading Program.

I’d like to thank everyone who has donated books and other materials to this event. This support proves that people are concerned about those less fortunate than ourselves and are willing to do somthing about it.

I’m looking forward to seeing you on Saturday. Please contact me on 9227 5322 if you have any queries.


Ananda Barton (Mr)

Coordinator – Literacy and Reading Program

Ethnic Communities Council of Western Australia (ECCWA) Book Fair Saturday May 7 2011

The Ethnic Communities Council of WA will be holding a book fair on Saturday 7th May 2011. All books and other materials will be free, although people will be asked to make a gold coin donation at entry.

The response to my request for donations of books was far above what I expected. Proof, if anyone needs it, that people are generous and willing to go the extra step to help people in need.

I look forward to seeing you at the book fair, 10.00 am – 4.00 pm, 20 View Street North Perth.

I am organizing a ‘busy bee’ on Saturday 16th April, starting 10.00 am, 20 View Street North Perth, to sort the books. If you can assist for a few hours your help will be most welcome. Please let me know a week in advance so that I can organize lunch.

Please contact me if you have any queries.


Ananda Barton (Mr.)

Coordinator – Literacy and Reading Project

International Mother Language Day 21 February 2011

International Mother Language Day has been observed every year since February 2000 to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism. The date represents the day in 1952 when students demonstrating for recognition of their language, Bangla, as one of the two national languages of the then Pakistan, were shot and killed by police in Dhaka, the capital of what is now Bangladesh.

Languages are the most powerful instruments of preserving and developing our tangible and intangible heritage. All moves to promote the dissemination of mother tongues will serve not only to encourage linguistic diversity and multilingual education but also to develop fuller awareness of linguistic and cultural traditions throughout the world and to inspire solidarity based on understanding, tolerance and dialogue.

Donations needed for the Ethnic Communities Council of WA (ECCWA) Book Fair

Do you have any unwanted books, CDs or DVDs that you could donate to a free book fair being organised by the Ethnic Communities Council of WA (ECCWA)?

ECCWA is Western Australia’s peak ethnic body. It advocates on behalf of migrants, refugees, members of ethnic minority groups and indigenous people. One of our priorities is encouraging our clients to learn English, read and use libraries. To this end we plan to hold a free book fair on a Saturday during the April school holidays (Wednesday 20 April – Wednesday 4 May). This will be based on a similar successful event we held last year. All books and other materials will be free, although people will be asked to make a gold coin donation on entry to support our work.

This event aims to assist migrants and refugees to integrate by providing them with books and electronic resources on Australian society and culture and encourage ‘mainstream’ Australians to understand minority groups by providing books and other resources on different cultures. We hope to encourage cross-cultural interaction by holding an event at which Western Australians from different cultures will have the opportunity to socialise while selecting books and enjoying light refreshments.

Any unwanted materials you can provide will be greatly appreciated. Particularly useful will be books on Australian history and society and other cultures and nations (fiction and non-fiction). Children’s materials would be particularly useful.

All donations will be acknowledged at the event and in ECCWA’s annual report. If you have any posters or pamphlets advertising your services please forward them with your donation and they will be displayed at the book fair. I will be able to arrange the collection of donations within the metropolitan area.

Please contact me on 9227 5322 if you have any queries.

Regards, Ananda Barton (Mr.)

Coordinator – Literacy and Reading Project