AUSTRALIAN Government funding for two local projects will help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples keep their languages alive, says Federal Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch.
On Friday, the Minister for the Arts, Senator the Hon George Brandis QC, and the Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Senator the Hon Nigel Scullion announced the recipients of $2.6 million in funding for new language preservation projects.
Wujal Wujal Aboriginal Shire Council is set to receive $58,624 to create teaching resources for the Nganginanga Kuku Jungkurrji-bungka Project through the production of four short DVDs (20-40 minutes each) and accompanying handbooks.
Further north, the Northern Peninsula Area Regional Council will benefit from $24,500 to develop digital and multi-media language learning resources using the Miromaa software program for traditional languages spoken in the Northern Peninsula Area.
The Indigenous Languages Support program was established in 1991 and has been a vital tool for maintaining, reviving and sharing Indigenous languages, said Mr Entsch.
“This is great news for these two local projects,” he said. “It’s an important investment that will help Far Northern communities to develop culturally appropriate learning resources across a range of new media and through partnerships with schools, cultural organisations and libraries.”
This funding will bring the total investment of Australian Government funding for Indigenous languages to more than $13 million in 2013-14, said Senator Scullion.
“Australian Government support for the protection of Indigenous languages is also an investment in the rich cultural heritage of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, protecting and preserving it for future generations,” he added.
Many community groups will use their funding to digitise existing language learning resources. Audio and video content will be developed to make languages more accessible to more people in communities across Australia.