Monday, August 12th, 2019 - Miromaa Aboriginal Language & Technology Centre

The ultimate event of the year in celebrating the United Nation’s International Year of Indigenous Languages is PULiiMA 2019 National Indigenous Languages and Technology Conference, to be held 19-22 August 2019 at the Darwin Convention Centre.

Hosted biannually since 2007, PULiiMA is one of the largest Indigenous attended language conferences in the world. Throughout the PULiiMA 2019 week, over 70 presentations and 9 workshops will attract over 500 delegates. An extraordinary spectrum of presenters from First Nations throughout Australia, the Torres Strait Islands, Hawaii, New Zealand and North America will come together to celebrate the rich and diverse role of Indigenous languages. 

Presentation highlights include: Indigenous Ethnobotanist Gerry Turpin from the Australian Tropical Herbarium (QLD); Candace Kaleimamoowahinekapu Galla (Hawaii), The National Maori Language Institute (NZ); University nuhelot’i?ne thaiyots’i? nistameyimâkanak Blue Quills (CANADA). A strong theme of health and wellbeing includes a unique presentation on Indigenous Sign Languages for deaf Indigenous populations.

The inaugural `Women in Language’ event will take place on the Tuesday of the Puliima week celebrating the unique and valuable role our women play in our communities.  Workshops and talks will be run by our women showcasing and their contributions in art, culture, raising families, transmitting knowledge, leadership, enterprise and more.

A highlight of the Puliima Gala Event on the evening of Wednesday 21st August is a performance by Aria-Nominee Emily Wurramara, followed by our main event for the evening: Australia’s Got Language Talent Quest. Australia’s Got Language is inspired by talent programs such as X Factor, Australia's Got Talent and Australian Idol showcasing deadly Aboriginal Australian talents performing in language.

The program also highlights the vital theme of youth in our culture – including First Languages Australia’s selection of Young Language Champions for 2019 (Australia). A number of presentations focus on the power of language in song, including Tiwi Women’s Strong Choir from the Tiwi Islands. The challenge of education of Indigenous languages for all ages is addressed, including the teaching of mathematics in Australia’s First Nations’ languages.

As the event title suggests, technology has a strong presence throughout the PULiiMA program, discussing the forefront of digital developments for tools designed to support Indigenous language and culture revitalisation, protection and sharing. Technology is an empowerment. And Indigenous people everywhere seek empowerment.


PULiiMA is hosted by Newcastle-based Aboriginal NGO, Miromaa Aboriginal Language and Technology Centre (MALTC). MALTC’s Co-founder and Event Director Daryn McKenny, says:

“There needs to be a wide range of approaches to both the conservation and learning of Indigenous languages because the language situation varies so much in the different areas of Australia and throughout the world.”

“We identified 12 years ago the need for a conference that brings attention to the importance of our First Nations Languages. We also identified the need to include the role technology plays in empowering Indigenous people to save, learn and live through our languages. But still, our languages are disappearing as fast as ever. But the efforts to halt this loss are also as strong as ever.”


We are very proud that Puliima continues to showcase Indigenous language success stories. More specifically, the powerful methods employed in documentation, sharing and use of the world’s oldest living languages. We are proud to be a partner of the United Nation’s 2019: International Year of Indigenous Languages.” says McKenny.

‘Puliima’ is an Awabakal word meaning ‘making voice’.


PULiiMA 2019 is sponsored by CSIRO (, Atlas of Living Australia (, Centre of Australian National Biodiversity Research (, the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters Ltd (, Research Unit for Indigenous Languages ( and Library For All ( PULiiMA 2019 is funded through initiatives of the Federal Government and programs managed with the Department of Communication and the Arts.

The ABC is PULiiMA 2019’s official Media Partner (


  • What: PULIiiMA 2019 Indigenous Language & Technology Conference
  • When: 19-22 August 2019
    - Workshops program: 19-20 August 2019; incl inaugural "Women in Language" event - 170 Indigenous women from all over the world
    - Conference program: 21-22 August 2019 over 500 delegates attending
  • Where: Darwin Convention Centre (Darwin Waterfront Precinct, Darwin, NT)
  • Event host: Miromaa Aboriginal Language & Technology Centre (
  • Media contact:
    Daryn McKenny, General Manager, MALTC (event host)
    0428 963 363, [email protected]
  • Event website:


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Contact Profile

Miromaa Aboriginal Language & Technology Centre

Miromaa Language Centre was formed in 2003, since then their activities have grown to the point where they are involved in some manner with over 300 language activities around Australia and internationally, their support extends to supporting many International language activities as well.

Daryn McKenny
P: 0428963363


Indigenous languages, Aboriginal language, International Year of Indigenous Languages, Puliima 2019, Darwin Convention Centre



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