Translational Research in Indigenous Language Ecologies Collective

Translational Research in Indigenous Language Ecologies Collective (TRILEC) is a network of experienced researchers who work with Indigenous peoples and their language contexts in Australia and the Pacific.

TRILEC work is translational and interdisciplinary. We put knowledge about languages into practice. We work collaboratively with Indigenous language communities and organisations, policy makers and services deliverers in areas such as early childhood, education, health, well-being or law.

Our work has impact in several areas:

  • language programs
  • education
  • health and well-being
  • first languages
  • additional languages
  • language rights
  • language policy.


A feature of TRILEC research is that we acknowledge the whole language context, or 'language ecology'. That is, we factor in which languages are spoken and to what extent. Our work therefore includes different types of languages, for example:

  • traditional/heritage Indigenous languages, which might be strong, being revitalised or reawoken
  • contact languages, like creoles or mixed languages, on varying trajectories of recognition, and
  • English(es), learned as an additional language or dialect and/or spoken as an Indigenised variety.


In TRILEC we do translational research. This means that we not only research languages themselves, but we also research across the whole process of applying this knowledge for particular end users and purposes, for example:

  • informing community members or policy makers about languages
  • how to make historical resources accessible
  • effective ways of teaching or assessing languages, and
  • creating useful dictionaries, reference materials or teaching resources.


TRILEC researchers take an interdisciplinary approach. We bring diverse perspectives from formal academic disciplines, rich Indigenous and community-based knowledges and perspectives and a wide range of professional experience, along with a range of research methodologies, to our research projects.

TRILEC members have recently undertaken research work for the Federal Office for the Arts, the Federal Department of Education, Skills and Employment, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Queensland Department of Education and the NSW Aboriginal Languages Trust.

Updated:  28 October 2021/Responsible Officer:  Head of School/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications