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Policy

GREAT NEWS: On the 9th of August 2009, the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People, the Federal Government released a media statement and policy document on Indigenous Languages. The new National Indigenous Languages Policy is aimed at keeping Indigenous languages alive and supporting Indigenous Australians to connect with their language, culture and country.

In addition New South Wales, South Australia and Western Australia have education policies and curriculum specific to Aboriginal Languages. The Northern Territory has a policy of sorts, and Queensland and Victoria are currently working on teaching policies for Indigenous languages with the aim of bringing our Languages into mainstream curriculum.

We congratulate the NSW State Government and the NSW Department of Aboriginal Affairs in being the first State or Territory to adopt a State wide policy.

On the 9th of August 2009, the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People, the Federal Government released a media statement and policy document on Indigenous Languages. The new National Indigenous Languages Policy is aimed at keeping Indigenous languages alive and supporting Indigenous Australians to connect with their language, culture and country. The policy is loosely written, so that it is non binding. But states that the Australian Government is committed to addressing the serious problem of language loss in Indigenous communities. The policy has five stated aims, as follows, and highlights a number of actions to achieve them. National…
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In SA, support for Indigenous languages is embedded within whole-of-government strategies and statements, but there is currently no statewide, coordinated language policy. Bilingual Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara programs inherited from mission schools on what are now the Pitjantjatjara-Yankunytjatjara Lands, flourished until the early 1980s. In the mid 1980s Indigenous languages were formally introduced into the wider South Australian state school curriculum. During 2006 over 5000 students were involved in over 60 programs teaching one or more of nine Indigenous languages. SACSA framework for Australian Indigenous Languages The provision of a SACSA framework for Australian Indigenous languages in South Australian schools represents…
Although Language and Culture is listed as a priority in the Indigenous Education Strategic Plan 2006-2009, the NT currently has no Territory-wide Indigenous Languages policy. There is little overall prioritisation of Indigenous languages at the Territory or Federal government level. The high percentage of Indigenous students in the NT education system, and the relatively high numbers of people who still speak their language(s) as well as English (40% speak a language other than English at home), means there is more focus in the NT on Indigenous education than many other states and territories. The Indigenous Languages and Culture in NT…
Western Australian does not have a state wide policy in relation to indigenous languages. Indigenous languages have recently been focused on in the WA Office of Multicultural Interests Languages Services Policy which seeks to ensure that translation services are provided by all government service providers.  http://www.omi.wa.gov.au/omi_language.asp Many Indigenous languages are taught in Western Australian schools and TAFE courses are being developed. Curriculum Council The Curriculum Council sets policy directions for kindergarten to year 12 schooling in Western Australia. 2008 is the first year students can enrol in a secondary subject Aboriginal Languages of Western Australia. The first WACE exam for…
In March 2007 the Victorian government announced its first step  towards a policy on Indigenous languages in contributing toward a two  day workshop looking at developing a statewide Indigenous languages policy. Recommendations from the workshop are shaping a policy Discussion Paper to be released to relevant stakeholders. Indigenous languages are underrepresented in the state and  independent school sector.  Apart from two schools there has been little take up of Aboriginal languages. John Atkinson, Chairperson of VACL, said that the   policy will aim "to make Aboriginal languages more accessible to the local communities". VACL is currently in consultation with the…
In Queensland there have been many moves to develop Indigenous languages policies, but none have been accepted or implemented. Bi-lingual education programs in the Western cape started in the 1970’s but where shut down when Federal Government policy changed and funding was withdrawn in the 1980’s. Recently, the Queensland Studies Authority accepted a recommendation from the QLD Indigenous Education Consultative Body to look into developing an Indigenous Langauges Other Than English (LOTE) Framework which supports and guides schools and the communities to negotiate, develop and implement an Indigenous language, appropriate to the local community, as an accredited LOTE subject. Queensland…
NSW is currently the only state in Australia that has developed a comprehensive state-wide Indigenous languages policy. The policy was formally launched in July 2004. The strategy to implement the policy will be finalised and released publicly in late 2007. NSW Aboriginal Languages Policy (NSW DAA) In 2004 NSW was the first state to adopt an Aboriginal Languages Policy (NSW DAA) Under the policy: A Kindergarten to Year 10 syllabus will be introduced from the beginning of 2005 - enabling students in the State to study an Aboriginal language through to Year 10. The changes mean students will be better…