Queensland welcomes worldwide focus on Indigenous languages

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Community Equality Indigenous & Heritage Political Queensland Government

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Today the Palaszczuk Government marks International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples.

Deputy Premier, Treasurer and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships said representatives of the Queensland Indigenous Languages Committee (QILAC) would today meet to progress a dedicated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander language policy.

“Queensland has more than one hundred Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages but sadly, many are now considered endangered,” Ms Trad said.

“We are working closely with Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islander peoples to develop a language policy by early 2019, as part of the Queensland Government Reconciliation Action Plan 2018 – 2021.

“There is no better time to focus on this critical body of work as the United Nations shines a global spotlight on first languages during International Year of Indigenous Languages 2019.

“We share this global commitment to protect and promote Indigenous languages. With the nation’s second largest Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population, Queensland plays an important worldwide role in preserving Australia’s First Nations languages,” she said.

The language policy will be designed with community and consultation to date indicates the policy should aim to:

  • Recognise the importance of traditional languages in maintaining cultural identity and building the resilience of Queensland’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities
  • Support measures to reinvigorate and strengthen Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander traditional languages
  • Promote Queensland as a thriving, vibrant cultural state that values and embraces Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and languages.

Key Queensland Government language initiatives, projects and partnerships include:

  • A $1 million funding allocation over three years to preserve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages and promote reconciliation and culture.
  • The Binbi Wadyabay: Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Languages Forum held in Rockhampton during May 2018.
  • State Library of Queensland’s partnership with the Commonwealth Department of Communications and the Arts for the State Library Indigenous Languages Project has supported the identification and access to over 75 Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages and dialects.
  • State Library of Queensland’s year of programming to celebrate, and raise awareness of, Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages to align with the UN International Year of Indigenous Languages in 2019.
  • In 2018 there are approximately 22 Indigenous languages being taught in more than 50 Queensland state schools.
  • All students at Waterford West State School are taught the Yugambeh language.

For more information visit www.qilac.org.au

Deputy Premier, Treasurer and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships
The Honourable Jackie Trad

 
Jackie Trad MP : Deputy Premier, Treasurer and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships :
Suite 1/90 Vulture Street, Brisbane
07 3255 3615
07 3255 3627
Jackie Trad MP : Deputy Premier, Treasurer and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships
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