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Emily Ford – Youth Profile

When she’s not winning awards like the NT Young Citizen of the Year or volunteering her time on City of Darwin’s Youth Advisory Committee, 21-year-old Emily Ford studies a Bachelor of Arts at Charles Darwin University and flies drones around with her remote aircraft pilot licence.

But as a Rak Mak Mak Marranunggu woman from Kurrindju, who speaks two languages – Rak Mak Mak Marranunggu and Rak Marrithiyel – her true passion lies in linguistics.

“We wanted to create a dictionary to help revitalise my language, Marranunggu, and reinvigorate it for younger generations as well as for future generations,” she says.

This sense of community was fostered at a young age when Emily had the opportunity to go out on country.

“The bush-camps we went on during high school helped us develop a stronger connection to each other, to the land, to learn more about our culture, and our languages. I’d get to help organise it as well as volunteer… I enjoy being around people, being a part of the community, and seeing things I might not have usually been able to see.”

Being tech-savvy, Emily uses social media to help promote cross-cultural understanding through her Instagram account, Djulburr.

“I wanted to put the words we found online so that people can learn and to share the language. We’ve even got audio so that people can listen to the pronunciations.”

So give Emily a follow and learn something new about the oldest living culture on the planet.


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