Learning and preserving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages

THE HON JASON CLARE MP
MINISTER FOR EDUCATION

SENATOR THE HON MALARNDIRRI MCCARTHY
ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR INDIGENOUS AUSTRALIANS
ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR INDIGENOUS HEALTH

SENATOR THE HON ANTHONY CHISHOLM
ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR EDUCATION
ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT

JOINT MEDIA RELEASE

7 December 2023

LEARNING AND PRESERVING ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER LANGUAGES

The Albanese Government is investing more than $14 million to support primary schools to teach Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages in classrooms across Australia.

Expressions of interest are now open for the First Nations Languages Education Program which aims to teach and strengthen Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages.

The Program has been developed in partnership with First Languages Australia (FLA), the national peak body for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages.

The initiative recognises that each community will have different aspirations and needs for teaching and sustaining First Nations languages. As well as funding a local language plan, it will also support up to 60 First Nations Language educators in primary schools across Australia.

The Program aims to progress Target 16 of Closing the Gap, to support a sustained increase in the number and strength of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages being spoken.

Communities that register their interest will first work with FLA to develop a local language plan.

For more information, visit: www.education.gov.au/schooling/first-nations-languages.

Expressions of interest are open until 28 February 2024. 

Quotes attributable to Minister for Education Jason Clare:

“This program will help more young Australians develop a deeper understanding and appreciation of the first languages and cultures of this country.”

Quotes attributable to Assistant Minister for Indigenous Australians Malarndirri McCarthy:

“It’s important to know that Indigenous languages, from the oldest continuing cultures on earth, will be taught in classrooms around the country.

“All students, Indigenous and non-Indigenous will benefit from this program that will ensure First Nations languages thrive into the future.”

Quotes attributable to Assistant Minister for Education Senator Anthony Chisholm:

“Preserving the languages of the world’s oldest continuous civilisation is central to promoting a strong and vibrant First Nations culture within Australia and to the rest of the world.

“The program will help strengthen and preserve languages, cultures, identities and the wellbeing of First Nations people and support school attendance, engagement and academic achievement for students.

“It will also help support the placement of up to 60 First Nations language educators in primary schools that are involved in local community partnerships from 2024.”