Honorary doctorate for life's work to reclaim Wiradjuri language

Wednesday 11 Dec 2013
Wiradjuri Elder Mr Stan Grant, AM, will take centre stage at a Charles Sturt University (CSU) graduation ceremony in Wagga Wagga next week when he is awarded an Honorary Doctorate.
Mr Grant, from Narrandera, will be awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Letters by CSU Chancellor Mr Lawrie Willett, AO, during the graduation ceremony in Joyes Hall at CSU in Wagga Wagga from 3pm on Monday 16 December.
CSU Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Andrew Vann said, "Stan Grant has made an outstanding contribution to Charles Sturt University's regions, especially to Indigenous communities.
"As an Elder, author and teacher, he has made an outstanding intellectual contribution to our communities. His deep involvement in the introduction of the University's new Graduate Certificate in Wiradjuri Language, Culture and Heritage program in 2014 is a clear demonstration of his work."
Mr Grant, 73, was born and raised in the western Riverina. Through his Wiradjuri grandfather, he was one of a few people in his generation to have substantial exposure to a 'living' Wiradjuri language.
In the 1980s, Mr Grant helped form the Wiradjuri Council of Elders and was a leader in the work of strengthening the Wiradjuri community, including self-governance and reclaiming heritage and identity, particularly a language recovery program.
With Dr John Rudder, Mr Grant compiled the first Wiradjuri-English dictionary in 2005.  The 2nd edition of A New Wiradjuri Dictionary was published in 2010. Mr Grant is also behind a Wiradjuri grammar book, a collection of short stories, a songbook and colouring book for children, and a variety of audio visual resources designed to support Wiradjuri language learning
Mr Grant has worked with TAFE NSW to establish a Wiradjuri language program to Certificate III level and has overseen the introduction of Wiradjuri language classes in many regional schools.
Mr Grant is also a board member of the Centre for Aboriginal Languages Co-ordination and Development (CALCD), a NSW Government initiative to drive Aboriginal language revival.
More recently, Mr Grant has been central to the development of the CSU Graduate Certificate in Wiradjuri Language, Culture and Heritage. He has had a number of advisory roles in the design of the course and has been primarily responsible for the design and development of the language subject.
Associate Professor Ros Brennan Kemmis, AM, from the CSU Faculty of Education said, "This new Charles Sturt University course opens up the possibilities for University-level study of Wiradjuri language and culture. Mr Grant is at the heart of the program and the course would not have been possible without his input, creativity and commitment."
Mr Grant was awarded a Member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia in 2009 for 'service to Indigenous education and the preservation and promotion of the Wiradjuri language and culture, as a teacher and author, and to youth'.
Six graduation ceremonies will be held at CSU in Wagga Wagga from Monday 16 December to Wednesday 18 December.


Media contact: Fiona Halloran, (02) 6933 2207

Media Note:
An Honorary Doctorate of Letters will be conferred on Mr Stan Grant, AM, by CSU Chancellor Mr Lawrence Willett, AO, during a graduation ceremony from 3pm on Monday 16 December in Joyes Hall, Pine Gully Road, CSU in Wagga Wagga. High quality photos of Mr Grant attending the CSU graduation ceremony will be available from CSU Media. A copy of the Honorary Doctorate Citation will also be available from CSU Media on Monday 16 December. The new Graduate Certificate in Wiradjuri Language, Culture and Heritage starts at CSU in 2014. It includes four subjects and is offered through blended mode delivery, including online distance education, field support and face-to-face residential schools held at CSU in Wagga Wagga.