$3.9 million boost to revitalise Aboriginal languages in NSW


NSW Government funding of Aboriginal languages has doubled in the past year, with 58 community organisations to share in $3.9 million worth of grants.

The funding, provided under the Aboriginal Languages Trust Community Investment Program, supports organisations and groups to reawaken, grow, nurture and raise awareness of the breadth of languages across NSW.

Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Treaty David Harris said NSW is the only jurisdiction in Australia with legislation in place that recognises the importance of Aboriginal languages and is following through with a significant increase in funding for their revitalisation.

“Aboriginal languages in NSW are considered critically endangered and that must change to protect the cultural heritage of this state,” Minister Harris said.

“I am proud that this government has more than doubled the investment into Aboriginal communities to support their efforts to reawaken and reclaim languages.

“Languages mean everything to these communities – it’s part of their past, has shaped who they are today and must be preserved and enhanced for the future.”

The projects funded include the development and expansion of several language hubs across NSW, the delivery of on-country language and culture immersion camps and gatherings, and the development of language learning resources and the delivery of language classes within communities and childcare settings.

Grant recipients are spread right across NSW from Ulladulla to Tweed Heads to Lightning Ridge and Condobolin. Grants range from $7425 for the Dunghutti Elders Council in South Kempsey to upgrade a community meeting space to enable the delivery of languages programs to community, to $199,080 for the Arwarbukarl Cultural Research Association to support individuals from 28 different language groups from across NSW to participate in the PULiiMA Language and Technology Conference in Darwin to share, learn and network.

Chairperson of the Aboriginal Languages Trust Jason Behrendt said the grants have not only increased in value but in scale as well, with 3 categories now available to provide opportunities for organisations just starting on a language revitalisation journey to those who are keen to continue languages reclamation work.

“By expanding the range of grants the trust can reach more Aboriginal communities to support their efforts to reawaken and reclaim languages,” Mr Behrendt said.

“The trust’s vision is that all NSW Aboriginal languages are strong and healthy. We understand communities’ needs will evolve as their languages grow and we must grow with them.”

A full list of grant recipients can be found on the Aboriginal Languages Trust website.

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