Marlea, center, at her brother’s birthday party. The other kids in the photo are Marlea’s cousins. Photo: Leonie Mason
Marlea, center, at her brother’s birthday party. The other kids in the photo are Marlea’s cousins. Photo: Leonie Mason

Name: Marlea Mason, 8 Home: Sydney, Australia

Identified background: Aboriginal (a-bor-I-ji-nal), or native Australian

Language: Koori English

Religion/Culture: Aboriginal culture is an oral culture of storytelling, dancing, singing and the Dreamtime. The Dreamtime story of creation says that our ancestors walked the earth and created things from dreams and visions.

Favorite subject in school: Science

Favorite food: Fried rice

Living situation: “I live with my mum and my little brother David.”

Parents ’ work: “My mum works at Wirringa Baiya Aboriginal Women’s Legal Centre. She is an administration officer.”

Favorite sport: Netball, a game like basketball

What she wants to be when she grows up: A police officer

What she knows about the United States: “There are lots of people, and they speak funny.”

-By: MARIANNA LEISHMAN, COMMON LANGUAGE PROJECT

LEARN A LITTLE KOORI, CUZ!

Koori is a dialect of English, meaning that it is mostly like the English we know, but it has some different vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation. Some examples:

Having a yarn: talking

Deadly: awesome or funny

Gubba: a white man

Gunies: police officer

AUSTRALIA QUICK FACTS

Population: 20 million

Capital: Canberra

Ethnic groups: White (92%); Asian (7%); Aboriginal and other (1%)

Languages: English (79%); Chinese (2%); Italian (2%); Other (11%); Unspecified (6%)

History: Australia has been inhabited for more than 42,000 years by indigenous people. Australia was colonized by Britain in 1770 and became a self-governing commonwealth in 1901.