The Australian Indigenous Languages Framework (AILF) The AILF project, commencing in 1992, worked towards the introduction of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages into senior secondary studies. AILF was a federally funded national curriculum project and I was its first project officer, based at SSABSA during 1993-1994. The AILF project developed a framework that actively promoted diversity and attempted to include all Australian Indigenous languages irrespective of the extent to which they were spoken or had been documented (see Mercurio and Amery, 1996). A number of distinct program types were developed. AILF programs consist of two components: the Australian Languages component which looks at the broad picture of Australian languages, and the Target Languages component which focuses on a particular language. Within the Target Languages component, programs are required to consider not only the specific language but also the languages of the region (see SSABSA, 1996a). In this way AILF takes an ecological perspective.
In the course of the development of the AILF project, I developed a rough Kaurna program for Years 11 and 12 for discussion by the National Steering Committee during 1993. Discussions were held with schools and the community about introducing a Year 11 AILF program. Inbarendi College, being an umbrella organisation for six high schools, was in a good position to pool resources and support the introduction of a new program. Additional federal funds were obtained to mount a pilot project.
In 1994 the AILF Year 11 program at Inbarendi College was launched. The first semester was spent in recruiting staff, assembling resources, formulating the Year 11 program and the learning of Kaurna by the teachers themselves; Snooky Varcoe at EWAC, Cherie Watkins at ECHS, and Jennifer Simpson, classroom teacher supporting both programs. I worked as consultant linguist in assembling resources, offering advice, checking Kaurna language materials and teaching some aspects of the course, such as phonology and Kaurna grammar. The teaching programs at EWAC and ECHS did not actually commence until Semester 2, July 1994.
Kaurna occupies a central place within the AILF project. It was amongst the first Australian Indigenous languages to be taught in accredited courses at senior secondary level (along with Eastern Arrernte, Gupapuyngu, Yorta Yorta, Antikirinya and Pitjantjatjara/Yankunytjatjara). The reclamation of Kaurna is described in some detail in Chapter 9 of the AILF textbook (SSABSA, 1996c) and other chapters have additional Kaurna examples. Interviews with members of the Birko Warra Kaurna teaching team, including greetings in Kaurna, are included on the accompanying CD-ROM. A 35-page description of the Kaurna program, including modules of work and resource material, was published (see SSABSA, 1996b). Additional Kaurna examples are included within the Specimen Assessment Instruments (SSABSA, 1996b: 198-201), while comments from students of the Kaurna program appear on pages 9-10.