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Shock at sudden passing of mobilising force in First Nations language revival

AIATSIS joins the friends and colleagues of Dr Cathy Bow across Australia in shock and sadness following news that she passed away, suddenly, in Darwin on Saturday 23 October.

A linguist at the Northern Institute at Charles Darwin University, Cathy has been a mobilising force in support of language maintenance and revival in the Top End.

Awarded her PhD just a few months ago for her study of how digital technologies interact with First Nations language practices, Cathy Bow’s work focused on both descriptive and applied linguistics – including language development in children with impaired hearing, endangered language documentation, and the language and communication needs of international medical graduates. 

Cathy was project manager for the Living Archive of Aboriginal Languages; she was the lead in a project to develop teaching and learning resources for endangered Yolŋu languages; she was co-ordinator of the Digital Language Shell and of the online Bininj Kunwok language and culture course.

Cathy Bow won respect and affection from communities across the Top End and from colleagues for her knowledge and dedication to language communities and for her warm engagement.

AIATSIS extends the greatest sympathy and respect to Cathy Bow’s family and to her contacts in communities and academia for the loss of her energy, friendship, knowledge and wisdom.


Last updated: 26 October 2021