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2022 East Kimberley fieldtrip

By Joe Blythe

Over the last two years the Covid pandemic has made it very difficult to conduct fieldwork in the Kimberley as many remote communities remained closed off until quite recently. So it was a great pleasure to get back to the Kimberley for the first time in three years, even if only for a short trip. This time my family and I picked up a 4WD in Alice Springs and we drove up the Tanami Track to Halls Creek, and then to Warmun where we met PhD candidate Caroline de Dear and her family. This was a bit of joint fieldwork on Gija conversation.

Caroline and I setting up to record conversation at Violet Valley.

Catching up with Frances Kofod in Kununurra.

After a brief trip to Kununurra where we caught up with our dear friend and colleague Frances Kofod I went back to Warmun. From there I did a few days work with some Jaru speakers in Halls Creek. On the way back down the Tanami I called into Balgo. Tom Ennever, a PhD candidate on the OzSpace project was doing his fieldwork on Kukatja. He helped me record a session in which the conversationalists – all from a single family – are fluidly speaking at least four languages. Mindblowing stuff!


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