Dr Gianbattista (John) Giacon

PhD (Australian National University), BA (Hons, Linguistics) (University of New England), MEd (Australian Catholic University), BDiv (Melbourne College of Divinity), BA DipEd (Macquarie University) )
ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
T: 0421177932

Areas of expertise

  • Aboriginal And Torres Strait Islander Languages 200319
  • Linguistic Structures (Incl. Grammar, Phonology, Lexicon, Semantics) 200408
  • Linguistics 2004
  • Linguistics Not Elsewhere Classified 200499


John Giacon came to Australia from Italy in 1954. He is a Christian Brother and worked for a number of years in schools, including as Principal of St Patricks Strathfield (1988-1992). From 1993 to 2005 he lived in Walgett, where he worked extensively on Yuwaalaraay and Gamilaraay language, including completing a BA (Hons) in linguistics. From 2006 he has lived in Canberra, completing a PhD on those languages in 2014.

The PhD thesis: A grammar of Yuwaalaraay and Gamilaraay: a description of two New South Wales languages based on 160 years of records, is available from https://openresearch-repository.anu.edu.au/handle/1885/12377.

From 2006 he has taught Gamilaraay at the University of Sydney and in recent years also at ANU. He is actively involved in Gamilaraay/Yuwaalaraay revival. As well as teaching at university and elsewhere he is involved with community groups, is called on for translations, is invovled in producing resources, including some on tinyurl.com/FacebookGY. Other materials can be found at yuwaalaraay.com, including Gayarragi Winangali, a computer program which includes the dicitionary with sound, songs and more. More resources, including copies of the dictionaries, are available at tinyurl.com/GYMoodle and at tinyurl.com/gyresources.

Researcher's projects

I am using this section to make other materials available. My 2001 honours thesis, Development of new words in Yuwaalaraay and Gamilaraay, and other materials, are available at tinyurl.com/jgpublications.


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