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The Mobile Language Team takes a community-first approach to our work. Our work is guided by best-practice protocols for the maintenance and preservation of Aboriginal cultural heritage and language materials.

We work across the state and beyond with a number of Aboriginal communities and their heritage languages. These communities have varied approaches to working with language and cultural heritage materials. We seek to understand and abide by local protocols where we find them, but ultimately we operate under the collective wisdom and guidance of our Aboriginal Policy and Advocacy Committee (MLTAPAC). The primary function of this committee is to ensure that the Mobile Language Team observes best-practice in our dealings with Aboriginal individuals, families, communities and organisations. Additionally, our work is informed by the approaches adovcated by leading Aboriginal research and community organisations (see links below).

The Mobile Language Team’s approach is based around the three major pillars of practice: transparency, recognition and community.

Transparency

All activities, projects and work undertaken by, on or behalf of, or in partnership with the Mobile Language Team endeavours to be transparent in motivation, methods, obligations and engagement with the communities with which it works. Informed consent is fundamental to the Mobile Language Team’s approach. We take seriously the need for all work to be clearly explained and negotiated in advance and in good faith. Moreover, the implications, benefits and consequences this work will have on both individuals and communities involved must be exhaustive within reason. This is done through formal and informal discussions with community stakeholders.

Recognition

All activities, projects and work undertaken by, on or behalf of, or in partnership with the Mobile Language Team endeavours to appropriately recognise the ownership, the practices and the beliefs of the Aboriginal communities it works with. We recognise the right of Aboriginal people to have their cultural heritage materials protected and for individuals, families and communities to exercise self-determination with respect to these materials. The Mobile Language Team seeks to remain; neutral, fair and unbiased in all its work and activities with all Aboriginal community stakeholders.

Community

All activities, projects and work undertaken by, or on behalf of, or in partnership with the Mobile Language Team will be guided and directed by the Aboriginal communities it serves. Community is at the heart of all the work done by the Mobile Language Team. Our approach is community-centric and responds to the needs and wants of Aboriginal individuals, families and communities. As per request and negotiation the Mobile Language Team will become involved in the management of language and cultural materials on behalf of their Aboriginal community owners. During the course of the work conducted by the Mobile Language Team, new language and cultural materials are produced and maintained. These materials are archived and stored by the Mobile Language Team, on behalf of partner communities, and access to these materials is governed by community guidance and advice.

Anyone seeking access to these materials held by the Mobile Language Team, on behalf of communities, must seek formal approval through the rightful community owners of these materials. For help with this process please contact the Mobile Language Team at info@mobilelanguageteam.com.au or call us (08) 8313 0707.

The policies, procedures and practises surrounding access to language and cultural material are determined by the Mobile Language Team Aboriginal Policy and Advisory Committee. This committee is made up of members of the Aboriginal communities of South Australia and broadly advises the Mobile Language Team about their community activities.

If you would like to find out more about the MLTAPAC please email info@mobilelanguageteam.com.au or call us (08) 8313 0707.

To find out more about specific cultural research protocols and ethics please visit these peak organisations guides:

AIATSIS Guidelines for Ethical Research in Australian Indigenous Studies
Australian Linguistic Society Policies and Related Documents
Australian Anthropological Society Code of Ethics
Arts Law Centre of Australia - Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property