Anthropological and linguistics articles from University of Western Australia

Friday, April 19, 2013


Applied & Professional Practice 1

University of Western Australia

Honours Seminar ANTH APP1


Marcia Helene Hewitt 10436125

3 May 2013


Essay question: What specific challenges arise for anthropologists working as activists?



Title: Voyeurs or Eyes of God?


What immediately comes to mind in addressing this question about anthropologists in dangerous fields is the statue of the three monkeys, with hands over their eyes, ears and mouth. The proverbial principle  is “hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil”.


Well, for the activist anthropologist, it is easy enough to “speak no evil” but to see no evil or hear no evil is probably nigh impossible.


Patricia Omidian´s experiences  in Afghanistan illustrate the fact that activist anthropologists, in her case working with unarmed Quakers in Pakistan, were in precarious positions as to who they could or could not speak to.  In Kabul she was exposed to kidnapping and murders of young men between the ages of 15 and 30, who were often kidnapped on their way to school (Omidian, P., 2009). Kidnappings occurred on the accusation that a certain person may have said something rude or disloyal about someone who was held in high regard, such as Ahmad Shah Masoud, a war hero from the north. In these cases, engaging with someone politically or even socially could endanger the person.  An anthropologist in a situation like this would have to know who to speak to, who not to speak to, and whether to speak at all. Checkpoints for the Taliban were also points of danger. Foucault´s theory of historical a priori  is crucial here.  Every anthropologist should study deeply about the history of the region to which they will travel, and about all political conflicts and even potential political conflicts in the region of research.


The anthropologist´s oath to “do no harm” would oftentimes be difficult to keep, as one would not always know what the outcome of even a “harmless” conversation could be.


Whether to work with the United States military or not would also be a dilemma, as in some cases, this would compromise one´s safety.  Conventional wisdom  would tell us that being under the wing of the United States would be “safer” but in fact remaining neutral would often be the safer position, and would also mean that ordinary townsfolk would be more likely to tell you things.


Seeing and knowing can, in many instances, make one morally complicit. Does “do no harm” mean doing nothing? Philippe Bourgois´acounts of  crack culture in New York’s Spanish Harlem were poignant reminders that children growing up in the cocaine culture are sometimes used to run drugs  as young as four years of age( Bourgois, P. 2003 ). Bourgois, in his three years there, was deft at becoming friends with the locals, and accepted by them, and so in his case his accounts have been useful in policy about drug cultures in other areas.  The question in my mind when using child informants is obviously one of the ethics of knowing.  Once one knows what should one do next?  As anthropologists are not doctors or psychologists, one wonders whether we become voyeurs on the pain and suffering of others, or whether we are eyes of God, witnesses that can tell others what is happening in a specific area.  Bourgois´ethnography has been also a best seller so in his case, he has been a very successful “witness” to the world, and hopefully from his work there can be successful policy in the area of child welfare.


Those ethnographers who witness such human rights violations as female genital mutilation, lip enlargement with plates and neck stretching with rings around the necks of young girls can do little else than take photographs and write. Does seeing something of this nature engender powerlessness? Is this powerlessness sometimes incapacitating? Or is there power in joining up with such groups as Amnesty and local groups to stop human rights violations? The theoretical problem here is ; are anthropologists allowed to state that such cultural practices as these are indeed a human rights violation?  Anthropologists need to work with United Nations committees about rights of the child to have any real effect to change these situations.


The theoretical problem of ethnographic relativism also comes to mind.  For  Kayan women in Tibetan Burma, putting rings on the neck of a 5 year old, with a larger one each year, is interpreted by them as enhancing beauty, and ensuring that the woman will marry within her own tribe.  This all sounds very nice to the cultural relativist, but in fact, the rings push down the collar bone & compress the rib cage.  The neck is not really lengthened but the process deforms the clavicle (Mirante, E, 2006).


This type of “beauty enhancement”, defended by some cultural relativists, unfortunately is done without the child´s consent or understanding of the medical implications. Further, this procedure is now being used to draw tourism.  The young girl is sat in the street and people pay a bit of money to look at her or photograph her.  This surely is pure child exploitation.


Again the anthropologist is faced with the question “am I imposing Western liberal views on this culture” or should I appeal to the United Nations and write what I have seen? The defense of these practices as theoretically culturally particular do not always weigh up to the damage they do to the child´s physical and psychological development.


Where is the line?


Serious questions of ethics arise when doing activist field work. If there is a universal line between “moral” and “immoral” then when does one cross that line being a witness to torture, or beheadings?  Is seeing even immoral?


When seeing in itself becomes a travesty occurs in the case of activists who study pornography.  With all good intention to improve the world in which we live, activists might view pornography to see when that industry “crosses the line” and how to go about classifying pornography.  Substantial studies have shown that viewers of pornography are at risk for increased gender violence, self-harm, addiction, increased infidelity within marriage and desensitisation (Lubano, K. Dr. , 2006). This brings up the very real question, like the three little monkeys, how much can one see before one is oneself corrupted or polluted?


In cases of activists studying or participating in various cults or witchcraft, are these anthropologists in danger of being put under “curses” or “spells”.  I spoke with one anthropologist who told me that he had been with an Aboriginal tribe for about a year in the Northern Territory and now suffered from terrible stomach aches. He had been in some kind of disagreement with a tribal member who engaged in witchcraft and he was afraid that he was under some kind of “spell”. (Dring, D. 2008,  Personal communication).


To conclude, anthropologists, and activists in particular , are exposed to a range of moral, physical and psychological (and even spiritual) threats. The challenges of physical safety are more obvious ones, but the challenges of moral obligation, ethical strictures, psychological effects of seeing, and in fact post traumatic stress disorders from various field engagements. There is also the stress of negotiation, when those whom the researcher must protect are at odds with government agencies, with whom the researcher must maintain good relations. Whilst having a commitment of transparency, there are times when researchers in politically charged areas must hide their identities.  Researchers are very often working in cultures whose paradigmatic axioms are totally different than their own, as in the case of neck rings on young girls.  In these cases researchers often suffer from not being able to stop the pain and exploitation that they witness and write about.


As I have written this with the episteme of an applied anthropologist, I would like to suggest that universities and other funding organisations of anthropological research who are the beneficiaries of the anthropological findings provide more comprehensive preparation for entering dangerous fields and even offer debriefing time and psychological support for anthropologists who return from dangerous areas of work.


The possibility of true moral jeopardy that can cause ongoing psychological harm, such as has been studied in people who view hardcore pornography over a long period of time, needs to be taken into account by universities who fund people to do work on pornography or torture and other high risk areas.





Bourgois, Phillipe. 2003. In Search of Respect. Cambridge. Cambridge University Press.


Dring, David. 2004. ABC documentary   Filmmaker. Customary Law. Personal communication. 2008.


Foucault, M. 1979. Power, Truth and Strategy.  Working Papers.  Pp. 29-48. England. Penguin Books.


Fukui, Atsumi & Westmore, B. 1994. “To See or Not to See: The debate over pornography and its relationship to sexual aggression”.  Journal of Psychiatry for Australia and New Zealand.


Lubano, K. Dr. 2006. “Pornography putting viewers to deviant tendencies” online journal Digital Standard London.  Kenya Medical Research Institute. Seniour lecturer at University of Nairobi.

[accessed 19 April 2013]


Mirante, Edith, T. 2006. “The Dragon Mothers Polish Their Metal Coils” Guernica Magazine.

http.// dragon_mothers.

[retrieved April 16 2013].


Omidian, P. 2009. “Living and Working in a War Zone: An Applied Anthropologist in Afghanistan. Practicing Anthropology. Vol. 31, No. 2. Spring 2009.


Rastorfer, Jean-Marc. 1994.  On the Development of Kayah & Kayan National Identity. Bankok. Southeast Asian Publishing House.


Sider, Gerald M. 2009. “Can Anthropology ever be innocent” Anthropology Now Vol 1 (1): 43-50.




Friday, February 15, 2008

Marcie Lewis of Interamerican University Puerto Rico

Marcie Lewis of Interamerican University of Puerto Rico played
Cherie in Bus Stop and Olivia in Night Must Fall. Marcie was a regular
performer at El Batey, the Lamplighters and Fridays in San Juan.

Hello to Jorge Brunette and Stacy Notine. I am now in Australia and
named Marcia Hewitt.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Marcia Henschel of Ridgecrest California (James Monroe Primary)

Marcia Henschel of James Monroe Primary school 1955- 1958 is alive
and well in Perth, Western Australia, now Marcia Helene Hewitt.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Chooks in the Suburbs by Marcia Helene Hewitt

Isa Browns in the Suburbs

Do you remember the song “Sweet Georgia Brown?”
The fun of chickens in the suburbs will have you singing
“Sweet Isa Browns” when you collect large, tasty eggs each morning with generous yellow yolks.

Chickens (chooks, as we call them here in Australia) are wonderful pets and children adore them! After a hard day at the office it is very relaxing to watch these golden brown fowl wander around the garden, finding small bugs and invisible micro food.

Pullets are only 15 dollars here in Perth. The young hens quickly adjust and become part of the family, even making friends with
cats. They don’t need the entire yard and can live quite happily
in about a 4 meter square area, provided that you provide plenty of good food and compost for them.

Our three hens love to wander in the front and back garden, raiding the compost heap, nestling in the shade of a fern and putting dirt on each other’s backs.

Chickens earn their keep. Our three hens are hard at work fertilizing our newest vegetable garden and even scratch in the
blood and bone, dolomite powder and generally get rid of all
the couch grass for us.

Our children used to collect the eggs each morning (this is Victoria Park in Western Australia) and make pancakes with us.

Hormone free eggs are a wonderful dividend of having your own
chicken pets in the back garden.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Good Soil Preparation by Marcia Helene Hewitt

Good Soil by Marcia Helene Hewitt B. A . (Environmental Anthropology) UWA

In the same way that people & pets need vitamins and minerals, vegetables and fruit require good, well prepared soil. Good soil preparation ensures your garden has a good start and achieves maximum potential.

Soil preparation takes time, so start several weeks before planting. You can test your soil to see how much of the three vital nutrients are there: nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium. You can purchase a home soil testing kit from a garden shop. Your local suburb extension service can also test your soil for you.

Amend the soil’s pH based on the result of your test. If your pH is low, add LIME. If the pH is too high, add SULFER or peat moss. The next step is to
add lots of fresh organic material. You can add greensand or kelp meal if it is deficient in potassium.

Every soil needs new organic matter to break down. Add garden compost from your own bin or purchase it from a garden center. In addition you can add grass clippings, leaves or straw. These things add nutrients to the soil as they break down.

It’s good to loosen soil. Loosening it allows proper aeration. Till the soil down approx. 16 inches to properly loosen it. It is possible to rent motorised tillers from a garden center if the area you are working is too large for spade digging alone. You can get rid of weeds by spreading black weed paper or an old bed sheet over the area for a week before planting.

Vegetables like good drainage and a moderately fine texture. Steer clear of large trees as their roots will compete with the vegetables for space, nutrients and water.


Abawi, G.S. and Widmer, T.L. 2000. Impact of soil health management practices on soil borne pathogens, nematodes, and root disease of vegetable crops.
Applied Soil Ecology 15: 37-47

Albiach, R. Canet, R. Pomares, F. and Ingelmo, F. 2000. Microbial biomass content and enzymatic activities after application of organic amendments to a horticultural soil.
Bioresource Technology 75: 43-48.

Baur, A.J. 1934. Effect of composting on the chemical and biological change in peat.
Journal of American Social of Agronomy 820-830.

Brito-Alvarez, M.A. Gagne, S. and Antoun, H. 1995. Effect of compost on rhizosphere microflora of the tomato and on the incidence of plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria.
Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 61: 194-199

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Why Organic Food is Better by Marcia Helene Hewitt

Why Organic Food Is Better by Marcia Helene Hewitt
The Organic Principle: Many people are aware that food grown according to organic principles is free from exposure to harmful herbicides and pesticides, but that is only one small aspect of organic agriculture. A larger part of organic agriculture involves the health of the soil and the ecosystem. People interested in organic methods recognize that healthy, vibrant, and live soils and ecosystems significantly benefit crops. Natural, undisturbed soil is alive with micro biotic organisms that exist in harmony with the native plant life and the inorganic minerals that provide the soil's substrata.
Synthetic chemicals (such as herbicides, pesticides, and/or fast acting inorganic fertilizers) applied in or around crops interrupt or destroy the micro biotic activity in the soil. Once the micro biotic activity in the soil has stopped, the soil becomes merely an anchor for plant material. This conventional method of agriculture (in use for only the past 75 of 10,000 years of recorded agriculture) plants can receive only air, water, and sunlight from their environment -- everything else must be distributed to plants by farmers, often from inputs transported thousands of miles to reach the farm. Plants are commonly fed only the most basic elements of plant life and so are dependent on the farmer.

Food grown organically
Food grown organically means more support for local economies, but it can also mean higher prices. Conventionally grown foods cost less because their hidden costs are passed on to consumers and the environment. These hidden costs include creating synthetic inputs, the resulting pollution from spreading them, and long-term health effects of pesticide residues in our food.
In the long run, organically grown food is the best bargain for us, the environment, and future generations.
Maine Growers Association defines organic agriculture as "a locally sustainable, low-input technique for raising crops and livestock." For details on the legal definition of the word "organic," which is now regulated in the United States by the US Department of Agriculture, read the USDA National Organic Program standards and rules.
There are numerous organic certification policies. In Australia, Australian Certified Organic currently certifies about 55% of Australian organic produce. ( Garry Hannagan, NSW Farmer of the Year in 2004 & Australian Certified Operator says “the bud logo gives you the marketing edge---everywhere you need it.” To find out how you can ensure a straightforward, practical approach to your organic certification click here.
Marcia Helene Hewitt
BA (Anthropology) UWA


Hannagan, Garry. NSW Farmer of the Year 2004

Coleman, Eliot. 1995. The New Organic. Chelsea Green. Conn.

Australian Certified Organic.

Maine Growers Association


Monday, December 10, 2007

Bundu Dusun by Saskia Marina Hewitt Linguistics 3312

Linguistics 3312 Assignment 1

Bundu Dusun

Bundu Dusun is a minority language spoken by the Bundu Dusun people group in Sabah, East Malaysia.1 Bundu Dusun is one of a number of dialects of the Kadazandusun language, which is Austronesian.
The full classification for Bundu Dusun is: Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Northwest, Sabahan, Dusunic, Dusun, Central.2
There are 70,000 speakers of Bundu Dusun,3 which is spoken along the west coast of Sabah4 (See map).

The primary religion of the Bundu Dusun people group is Christian, at about 70% of the population.1

Although there has been some work done on the Dusunic language group (Appel, for example, and the sources he mentions - see reference 4), Bundu Dusun itself does not appear to have been the subject of special study by many, although Shelley Harrison does mention it in his draft paper on Dusunic languages.5

An orthography for Kadazandusun has been established and was standardised in 1985, and an existing grammar and dictionary was updated to a trilingual Dusun-Malay-English dictionary.6 There are also a few other resources to be found on the web, such as a Kadazandusun travel phrase book and a teach-yourself-Kadazan book. However no such resources can be found for Bundu Dusun specifically.

Among the people who speak the Kadazandusun language there has been a fair amount of conflict in terms of identity, surfacing in the issue of the people group/language name. Should they be called the Dusun or the Kadazan? This issue was brought to a head when a standardised form of the language was going to be taught in schools, and the various people in the committee could not agree on a name for the language to be taught, much less how to standardise the language and orthography. This was resolved by the melding of the two names together, however the people speaking and learning this language still call themselves a variety of names, including Kadazan, Dusun, and Kadazandusun. The language currently being taught in Sabah schools is a standardised version of the language so the Bundu Dusun dialect is subsumed under this although it is not itself taught.6

Tension between the various peoples speaking this language as they have responded to pressures to standardise, and as they have struggled to keep their languages alive, has been a major issue in the recent history of these peoples.6 The continuing effect of this, plus the teaching in schools of a standardised dialect, and the presence of two dominant languages - Malay and English - has no doubt changed the Bundu Dusun dialect and the spheres in which it is used.

1. Joshua Project’s Bundu Dusun page at:

2. Ethnologue report on Central Dusun at:

3. Ethnologue report on Malayan languages at:

4. Appel, G., 2004. “The Dusun Languages of Northern Borneo”

5. Shelley’s draft paper at:

6. Lasimbang and Kinajil. “Changing the Language Ecology of Kadazandusun: The Role of the Kadazandusun Language Foundation” at:

Also: Lasimbang and Kinajil. “Building Terminology in the Kadazandusun
Language” at:

Bilingual Education in Aboriginal communities by Saskia Marina Hewitt

Linguistics 3307 Major Essay

This essay will discuss some of the issues which arise in bilingual education in the Aboriginal Australian context, when decisions are being made as to what exactly the education program should look like. I will go briefly over some of the goals of bilingual education. Then, with these goals in mind, I will discuss some of the major issues which have come up for people designing and implementing bilingual education programs. What have actual education programs tended to look like in regard to some of these issues? Why is this?
Much of the literature and examples I will use come from the Northern Territory - bilingual programs in other states are not as old or as well documented.

Definition and Aims of Bilingual Education
Bilingual education is a system of schooling where two languages are used to teach the curriculum content. In the context of this essay, one of the languages is English, and the other is an Aboriginal language, where that Aboriginal language is the mother tongue of at least some of the students in the school. A bilingual program typically also provides education about the history and culture associated with the Aboriginal language (Watts, McGrath and Tandy, 1975:7).
This is a very broad definition to which most of the bilingual education systems in Australia adhere. However there is also the possibility in Australia of language revival programs, where an Aboriginal language that is no longer the first language of the children in the community is taught as part of the curriculum (Parliament of the Commonwealth, 1976:1). This scenario will be discussed briefly where appropriate throughout the essay. The focus, however, will be upon bilingual programs of the basic type given above.

John Mills (1992) gives four different types of bilingual education systems (p9). Each of these has its own aims. Australian programs encompass two of these four types (p42-3).
Most programs are what Mills terms partial. These aim for "language maintenance with some maintenance, and even development, of culture." The aim of the school which has instituted the program is for the children to become fluent and literate in English and their native language. The majority of bilingual programs in Australia fall into this type.
Some programs, however, use a language for which an orthography has not yet been developed (usually because it has not been analysed by linguists). In these cases the program is what Mills calls mono-literate. In these programs, the aim is language maintenance, but a shift to English as the child's main language of communication. Rhyddwen (1996:21) points out that although there are no official bilingual programs of this latter type (at least in the NT), any school which employs an Aboriginal teaching assistant is essentially operating a bilingual (just not biliterate) education program.

The reasons why a bilingual program is instituted will have a big impact on the decisions made about specific aspects of the program. Various aims have been put forward for bilingual education in general, but for Australian schools implementing a program in a traditional language, the most important aims are the ones of the government and of the local Aboriginal community.
The chief aims of the government in supporting and instituting bilingual education programs are as follows:
1 To foster confidence and pride in the child's Aboriginality; and
2 To develop literacy skills in English such that the child is well equipped to live in Australian society when s/he leaves school.
(McKay, 1996:113-14)
And also:
3. To allow Aboriginal people to have greater control over their own education; and
4. To maintain the language and culture of Aboriginal communities.
(Rhyddwen 1996:25)

In the past aim number one was seen as more important, but in recent years the second aim of developing literacy has eclipsed the first (ibid. p21)

The Aboriginal community also has its own aims for supporting bilingual programs. The Aboriginal Consultative Group (1975:5-6) gives some objectives for Aboriginal education in general. These can be summarised as follows:
1 That Aboriginal children be brought up as fully functional members of their own culture and of the wider Australian culture;
2 That Aboriginal language, identity and values be "actively developed" in the education system; and
3 That Aboriginal children be given the highest quality education possible, to allow the same levels of choice and achievement available to any other Australian person.

So how do these aims affect how a bilingual program will look in real life? Here are some major issues involved in the running of a bilingual program and the ways which they have been or may appropriately be tackled.

What language should be taught?
Which language should be the second language in a bilingual education program? In areas where there is one language that has been well documented, the choice is clear. But what if the language has not been well documented and there are no resources with which to teach it? Should the program be entirely oral? Or should there be a literacy program based on another, nearby Aboriginal language?
It essentially depends on what you are trying to do. Recall that the main aim in governmental policy is that English literacy be developed. In this case, it wouldn't particularly matter if the children could not learn literacy in their own language, as long as they were being taught orally throughout their school years. Indeed, trying to teach a second Aboriginal language, though not as difficult as teaching English, would take up curriculum time (unless the children were already fluent in both traditional languages) and would therefore be undesirable.
But on the other hand, because of the similarity of Aboriginal languages in the same area, literacy in a non-native language may still be of use (Watts, McGrath and Tandy, 1975:15). Particularly, if the Aboriginal community believes that some literacy in a traditional language will foster a greater sense of pride in Aboriginal culture, then this may be an option.
Certainly, there would need to be consultation with the community to make sure that the language that was chosen was approved by the community (ibid.)
Or what if there are many languages spoken in the same area? Which of these should be taught? Again, this would come down to consultation with the community to decide which was the most appropriate. The dominant language would be an obvious option. The other obvious option would be the language having an orthography and written material already available. These two options may or may not coincide.
Watts, McGrath and Tandy, cited above, also mention that in some cases, such as where there are two languages spoken by a sizeable number of students in the community, the school may have to consider developing a program in more than one Aboriginal language. In more recent years, there have been a couple of schools which have taken this option in the Northern Territory, for example in Elcho Island where 15 clan languages are taught (McKay, 1996:118).

In the case of a revival program, it seems almost impossible to think that an Aboriginal community would want to revive a different language from their traditional one. So it would seem that the only choice in that case would be to either develop an orthography and written material, or teach the language entirely orally (a feat).

Finding and training teachers and other staff.
Clearly, parts of the curriculum which are taught in a traditional language should be taught by a person who speaks that language fluently, and preferably by an Aboriginal person in order to give more control of the system to the Aboriginal community (Aboriginal Consultative Group 1975:25). But where should these teachers come from and how much training should they have? Finding both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal teachers is a common problem facing bilingual schools, and is not just a problem to begin with, but is ongoing due to the typically high staff turnover in remote Aboriginal schools (House of Representatives Committee 1985:110-11). The Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia (1976) reports on a number of bilingual programs that had been running at the time, about half of which reported either a lack of teachers, or a lack of competency and preparedness in their teachers.
To combat this problem, the School of Australian Linguistics was founded in 1974 (ibid. p5) for the purpose of training Aboriginal people in linguistics and literacy work. Teacher and teacher assistant training for Aboriginals is available from Batchelor College (McKay, 1996:115). Training is available at various levels at Batchelor, and the first year of the course can also be brought into the local community so that people do not have to leave home to study (McGill 1980:3-31). Courses were also held in 1975 in such topics as teaching English as a second language and early childhood development. These were for anyone involved in bilingual education - both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal (Parliament of the Commonwealth 1976:6). Whether these kinds of courses have continued I am not sure but at the very least the two training institutions mentioned above are continuing to run, although the latter has since subsumed the former (Rhyddwen 1996:24).
The Summer Institute of Linguistics has also played a role in giving advice and training to teachers and teacher assistants. It runs an intensive summer course every year, which provides training at three levels. (McGill 1980:31). SIL has also been the source of many linguists working in an advisory capacity in schools (Watts, McGrath and Tandy, 1975:27).
However, training can only take you so far in situations like this - the willingness of teachers and people from the Aboriginal community to participate is paramount. So in order to overcome problems of availability particularly, but also competency, you need to get people on board by pushing the benefits of bilingual education.
Also, what if there are dialect groups in the region that, although speaking essentially the same language, see themselves as very distinct? Although it may not seem to make a difference to people from outside the community, there may be political issues to take into account when hiring and training teachers.

What percentage of the course should be taught in each language, and for how long?
The idea of a bilingual program is that some of the course is taught in English and some in a traditional language. But how much should be taught in the native tongue, for how long? This is strongly affected by the goals you have in mind when designing the program. In Australia the objectives of bilingual programs are balanced between maintaining the native Aboriginal language and culture of the children, and training them in oral and literate English in order to prepare them for life in wider society. Presumably which was more important to the Aboriginal community would be affected by the situation of the community and their attitudes. For example, an extremely remote Aboriginal community may not see the point of large amounts of teaching in English and so may want most of the course taught in the traditional language. On the other hand, the governmental goals, as we saw earlier, prioritise literacy in English in recognition that this is a vital survival skill in modern Australia.
Two main models are given by Watts, McGrath and Tandy (1975:11-12), and similarly by McGill (1980:17-18). Both models start off dominated by the traditional language, which is then increasingly replaced by English as the language of instruction until English is used for all but the study of Aboriginal language, art, and culture.
This makes sense in terms of making the student a fully functional member of wider Australian society but nevertheless seems to devalue the traditional language somewhat. However, if the language was being used by the students at home then school would be the only place for them to learn English and so it would make sense for the schooling process to be dominated by English.
It all depends on what the situation of the community is, and of course discussion with the community would need to take place before decisions were made.
The discussion of this issue brings us to the next topic.

What subjects should be taught in which language?
In more recent years the "domains debate" has arisen among people involved in bilingual education. The domain of a language in a bilingual society is the range of situations in which that language will be spoken (Rhyddwen 1996:23). This idea has been transferred into the design of bilingual programs in terms of what language should be used to teach which subjects. Stephen Harris, quoted in Rhyddwen (cited above), says that organising the curriculum content into domains would prevent teachers "unwittingly imposing onto one culture a world view which is appropriate to another." So the idea is that the use of the Aboriginal language is restricted to instruction in topics related to Aboriginal life, art, culture and language. Conversely, the use of English is restricted to instruction in western subjects (science, maths, history, etc.).
There has been some debate about whether this is a good idea, but both sides are essentially aiming for language maintenance. The pro-domains side says that in order to survive, both languages must be used in separate domains, because if the domains of use were identical in both languages then the less dominant (traditional) language would simply stop being spoken. However, others point out that in Aboriginal society the use of different languages (or dialects) in the same domain is quite common. There is also the issue that since most of the curriculum comprises western material, the Aboriginal language will be highly restricted in its use, which is not conducive to its survival (McKay 1996:116). So in this case the difference in the two approaches is not so much a variance of goal but a variance in opinion as to how to achieve that goal: is language maintenance best achieved by dividing up the curriculum into domains, or by taking a more holistic approach?

As discussed above, both models given for Australian bilingual education feature a successive dropping out of the use of the Aboriginal language, so that by primary school the only subjects taught in it are those having to do with topics related to Aboriginal culture and the rest. So whether knowingly or not, it looks as though all formal bilingual programs in Australia have gone with the domains theory. Also balanced in with this is the other major goal of training Aboriginal students to have just as many choices and abilities to cope in Australian society. Part of this, surely, means making sure they have the ability to make themselves understood in all domains in the majority language. So this would pull the balance toward a greater amount of subjects being taught in English.
It seems to me that a good compromise might be to have some parts of the western curriculum still taught some of the time in language - depending on the wishes of the community and on the available resources.

Non-Aboriginal children in a bilingual school.
From the very beginning, in the initial report by Watts, McGrath and Tandy in 1975, the fact of children in majority Aboriginal schools whose first language is English was identified as a potential issue (p31). Obviously this would not be so much of a problem in higher school levels where the amount of Aboriginal language used is lower, and sometimes is only used in particular electives. But in lower school years quite a significant amount of the curriculum is taught using Aboriginal language. As the report by Watts et al. points out, it is important that children whose native language is English are not overlooked and are able to learn as effectively as the bilingual children. But it is also important that the two groups are able to interact for their mutual benefit.
The school would need to be organised in such a way as to accommodate everyone's needs and not disadvantage anyone. This would take a sensitive head teacher and would raise a need for extra teachers. Given that it is hard enough to find teachers as it is in remote schools, that may prove difficult, but it does not seem to have raised any larger issue than finding and keeping staff generally.

What materials to use and where to get them.
One last area I want to discuss is the production of materials in the Aboriginal language to use in teaching. This requires people to produce them and also facilities to print them. Some schools also run more than one bilingual program, and this means making doubles of all the resources (McKay 1996:118).
There are a number of different types of resources to produce, for example, basic materials such as word lists, primers, classroom materials such as charts and posters, illustrated story books and dictionaries. (McGill 1980:36-38). This necessitates the work of a number of people: linguists, Aboriginal story tellers, writers and illustrators, for example (House of Representatives Committee 1985:111). The making of materials can also be a teaching opportunity. Robert Hoogenraad (2002:12) relates that young and old Aboriginal people were enlisted to help produce picture dictionaries in the Western/Central Anmatyerr community in the Northern Territory. As a result, the literacy of the young people increased.
There are a number of institutions that employ people to develop materials and that have printing resources. There are about ten literature production centres in the Northern Territory (House of Representatives Committee 1985:111), and some schools have their own centres (McKay 1996:127). Additionally, institutions like the Summer Institute of Linguistics provide a lot of material. Many local community groups produce their own charts, games, picture books and other activity materials (Parliament of the Commonwealth 1976:11).
It is preferable if resources can be produced for a large area encompassing a number of schools; or at least templates for resources so that communities of different languages can have access to them (Hoogenraad, 2002:12). It is also important that the style of literature be close to the actual way people talk, especially at first when literacy is first being developed. This means being careful to follow actual discourse structure and idiomatic expressions used in the spoken language (McGill 1980:35-6).

This essay has discussed briefly some of the goals and aims of bilingual education in Australia. I then looked at some of the things which, historically and currently, have been issues when implementing a bilingual program. Many of the decisions made about these issues have depended on the priorities given to different goals for the program. In some cases, we have seen that different parties (for example the government and the Aboriginal community) may potentially disagree on what the bilingual program should look like. In these cases discussion must be entered into, and care must be taken not to take too much control away from the Aboriginal people.