QSNTS Remembers Dr Luise Hercus

On Sunday, 15 April 2018, leading linguist Dr Luise Hercus passed away in Canberra, leaving behind a legacy of knowledge and research among Traditional Owners that will live on for years to come.

AIATSIS, of which Dr Hercus was a member, describes her as an ‘honorary ancestor’ among some Traditional Owners, and who dedicated much of her life to researching and understanding the many languages of Australia, producing more than 1000 hours of recordings for 56 dialects between 1962 and 2003. Her recordings have since been used for many reasons, from academic research to native title claims.

Dr Hercus contributed the paper called 'In the Simpson Desert', for the book Making Connections: A Journey Along Central Australian Aboriginal Trading Routes on which Val Donovan and our QSNTS Chair Colleen Wall were General Editors for Arts Queensland and the project partners, Northern Territory, South Australia and Australian Government. The publication recognised the importance of acknowledging the history of traditional owners of this country in a spirit of reconciliation. Colleen remembers that Aunty Luise's knowledge and familiarity of the people and the area bought a whole new light to travelers through that desert region on the ancient existence of Aboriginal Australians.

QSNTS extends its heartfelt condolences to Dr Hercus's friends, family and colleagues. She will be sorely missed as both a scholar and a friend among Queensland’s Traditional Owners.

To learn more about Dr Luise Hercus and her contributions to Australia’s language history, click here.