Helping Indigenous communities preserve and protect their languages.

Professor Tom Calma AO, Kim Kelly, Mary-Ruth Mendel

SXSW Interactive Innovation Award, UN World Summit Award, Gold Edison Award, Solve – MIT Challenge winner

Australia’s Indigenous languages are declining at one of the fastest rates in the world. Globally, a language disappears every 14 days. We partnered with the Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation (ALNF) to build a SXSW award-winning platform to preserve, protect, and revitalize these languages.

In order to conserve Australia’s first languages, we had to design an interactive tool that could easily capture every element of a dialect – words, syllables, sounds and phonograms – to build out dictionaries, stories and handwriting tools.

For the experience to feel authentic and easy-to-use by Indigenous Australians, we worked closely with our sister studio Gilimbaa and artist Tarni O’Shea to ensure all cultural elements were inclusive.

"JM took on a challenge that was brave and untravelled: to work alongside ALNF to create a digital platform to aid in the preservation, revitalisation and teaching of literacy in Indigenous Languages."
Eric Brace, ALNF Programs Director
"The team at Josephmark harvested the best in technology to produce a neat, efficient and effective tool for communities to realise their dearest wish."
Eric Brace, ALNF Programs Director

In 2019, the Living First Languages platform won the prestigious Solve – MIT Challenge in New York in the category of ‘Early Childhood Development’ and took out first place in the ‘Innovation in Connecting People’ category at the South by Southwest (SXSW) Innovation Awards in Austin, Texas.

In 2020, ALNF was named as the winner at the 2020 United Nations World Summit Awards in Vienna in the category of ‘Culture and Tourism’, and has also won the Gold Award at the prestigious Edison Awards in the ‘Social Innovation’ category as well as the ‘Empowerment Platforms’ subcategory.