University of Western Australia

The Noongarpedia Partner Project
. Keywords: First Nations Resources

In 2015 Wikimedia Australia joined with Indigenous studies faculties at UWA and Curtin universities to support the first Indigenous community-lead project, working on wiki content in Noongar, the language of the south-west of Western Australia. Noongarpedia, as this project was called, also resulted in the start of incubators for both the Noongar Wikitionary and Noongar Wikipedia.

GWion Gwion rock paintings in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. Via Wikimedia Commons

The Noongarpedia project represents several areas of importance for Wikimedia Australia, and the Wikimedia movement. As an Indigenous language project promoting knowledge equity it involves partnerships with both the Noongar and the academic communities and is a tangible model for future Indigenous language partnerships in other states of Australia, and globally. The fact that this prestigious national research project is using the Wikimedia infrastructure also provides a powerful example of knowledge as service.

Ingrid Cumming was one the key researchers on the project and is a respected Noongar knowledge holder. She has given several presentations on Noongarpedia project about the challenges faced with the inclusion of Australian Indigenous knowledge at Wikimania.

Ingrid was recognised in the 2020 Western Australian Heritage Awards for her role in setting up and maintaining Noongarpedia, Australia's first Indigenous language Wikipedia. The commendation for an individual who has made a significant contribution to heritage and has demonstrated best practice standards acknowledged that:

Noongarpedia has enabled young people to embrace knowledge as a means of breaking down barriers, enabling ancient Noongar knowledge to become a heritage tool locally and globally.

Since 2016 UWA heritage course led by Professor Ben Smith and Professor Len Collard, supported by former Wikimedia Australia President Gideon Digby have been exploring the use of Intangible Knowledge through the Noongarpedia project.

Since 2019 WMAU has been collaborating with Sven Ouzman, Archaeologist and Heritage Specialist on addressing colonial legacy impact to Rock Art in Australia, Sven and his team presented at Wikimania 2021 on this.



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