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:

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

MyLanguage 2010 Conference Papers

The MyLanguage Conference which took place from August 9 – 11 2010 generated many interesting ideas and proposals about how digital technology can be used to promote social inclusion and to support language and cultural maintenance.

The theme of the conference explored how digital technologies could be used to assist culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities to achieve greater social inclusion and to maintain their linguistic and cultural identity.

The conference presentations, information about the speakers, and a list of useful links are now available here on the MyLanguage website.

The MyLanguage website provides access to search engines, web directories and news in over sixty languages.

Social Software in Libraries report

Interesting report on the use of Social Software (Web 2.0) from the Association of Research Libraries (thanks for this one!) 

While a growing number of libraries have adopted social software as a way to further interact with library patrons and library staff, many things are unclear about the use of social software in ARL member libraries. This SPEC survey was designed to discover how many libraries and library staff are using social software and for what purposes, how those activities are organized and managed, and the benefits and challenges of using social software, among other questions

It’s a subscription report but you can see the table of contents and executive summary on the web.

LibraryThing goes local…

Library Thing (see my earlier post!) now has a facility to add bookshops, libraries, festivals and events to their database.  It’s called LibraryThing Local.  The info is mapped onto Google maps (though there are still a few problems with the geocoding – SLWA is showing up across town from our actual location – the joys of Beta).

Let’s get going a get more WA libraries and bookshops into Library Thing!

Library Thing Logo

Your own LibraryThing

LibraryThingAre you a closet librarian?  Do you have a passion for putting  your own books in order?  Do you want to talk online about your books but can’t find like-minded people on MySpace or Facebook?  Help is at hand with LibraryThing – sometimes known as the world’s biggest book club, or in their own words:

“LibraryThing is an online service to help people catalog their books easily. You can access your catalog from anywhere—even on your mobile phone. Because everyone catalogs together, LibraryThing also connects people with the same books, comes up with suggestions for what to read next, and so forth.”

I’d dipped into LibraryThing myself, but hadn’t done much about it, however an exciting interview with founder Tim Spalding on Radio National’s book show reminded me to take another look.  Sadly you had to be quick to get the podcast and it’s now gone – however you can find out more about becoming a thingamabrarian on LibraryThing’s own site and on Wikipedia.