Linguistics Professor Felicity Meakins amongst finalists in the 2021 Australian Museum Eureka Prizes

6 Sep 2021

Congratulations to Linguistics Professor Felicity Meakins who is amongst finalists in the 2021 Australian Museum Eureka Prizes.

Professor Meakins has worked for decades with Cassandra Algy from the Karungkarni Art and Culture Aboriginal Corporation.

They've documented the way the Indigenous language, Gurindji is used by different generations in the remote communities of Kalkaringi and Daguragu in the Northern Territory.

They connected with Australian National University's evolutionary biologist Lindell Bromham and mathematical biologist Xia Hua through the ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language (CoEDL), a research network.

This unique team's interdisciplinary research is developing new ways to understand the processes of language change and factors that help keep Indigenous languages strong. 

“Mapping language change in Australia is crucial to recognising new ways of speaking and working with First Nations communities towards guiding principles for language revitalisation,” Professor Meakins said.

“I’m encouraged by the fact that in recent years, First Nations communities all over Australia have been rallying to renew their languages.

“I look forward to seeing an increase in substantial education, health and economic benefits associated with supporting First Nations languages.”

To find out more about the project, watch video here.

Projects in Science, Business and Humanities have been nominated for the event which is known as the ‘Oscars’ of Australian science. Winners will be announced on Thursday 7 October.