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Ngapartji Ngapartji has launched a policy paper regarding Australian Indigenous languages. You can download it [.pdf] from their website. The press release is below.


Indigenous languages a key to delivering better health and education
outcomes for indigenous Australians

Since colonisation Australia has suffered the greatest & most rapid
loss of languages in the world. Today, only 145 of 300 indigenous
languages are still spoken in Australia, of these110 are critically

"Everyone needs to be able to understand and communicate with
governments in their own language as well as in English if education
and health programs and services are to be effective" said Alex Kelly,
Creative Producer of Big hART's Ngapartji Ngapartji project.

Non-Indigenous educators, police, youth workers and medical workers
are often hampered by not being trained in local languages or
culturally appropriate modes of communication.

Successive governments have ignored indigenous cultural norms,
knowledge and governance structures. Despite the millions of dollars
being spent it is clear that the existing policies are not overcoming
indigenous disadvantage at an acceptable rate.

"Closing the communications gap will help win the fight to close the
health and education gap between indigenous and non-indigenous
Australians" Kelly continued.

"The National Apology to the Stolen Generation was an important first
step in a long journey of healing that includes helping people revive
and maintain languages and culture.

"A national languages policy should be geared towards addressing the
displacement and loss of languages faced by Australia's indigenous
people or this is the next thing we will be apologising for" concluded Kelly.

Big hART's Ngapartji Ngapartji is a long-term intergenerational
language and arts project based in the Central Desert.

The team is today launching a paper on the need for a concerted
federal focus on indigenous languages.

The four page paper is available as a PDF to download via the website

For more information or a copy of the paper contact Alex Kelly,
Creative Producer 0422777590, alex AT ngapartji.org

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The Transient Building, symbolising the impermanence of language, houses both the Linguistics Department at Sydney University and PARADISEC, a digital archive for endangered Pacific languages and music.

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