NSW backs 19 Aboriginal languages projects

By Shannon Jenkins

Thursday June 17, 2021

Don Harwin-aboriginal languages
Aboriginal groups will share in $860,602 to continue the teaching of Aboriginal languages. (AAP Image/Bianca De Marchi)

The New South Wales government has awarded 19 Aboriginal community organisations and groups $860,602 to fund projects that support the continued teaching of Aboriginal languages in the state.

The funding was announced by Aboriginal affairs minister Don Harwin and the Aboriginal Languages Trust — a state government agency formed last year — on Wednesday.

While the Aboriginal Languages Community Investment Program had originally offered $800,000 in grants, Harwin said an additional $60,000 was approved due to ‘exceptionally strong’ applications.

“The successful projects represent a range of language activities and are located right across NSW. The recipients showcase some of the incredible work being done by Aboriginal communities across the state to speak, learn and teach languages,” he said.

READ MORE: Hearing language: 50 Words Project allows people to hear local Indigenous words

The projects receiving grant funding include teaching resources that can be used in local schools and early childhood centres, an Indigenous language podcast channel, and community gatherings that will immortalise significant community stories through new songs and dances.

The Aboriginal Languages Trust Board hopes to see an increase in demand for local language activities as it shows the use of Aboriginal languages in NSW is growing, according to board chair Jason Behrendt.

“The high number and quality of applications received reflects the dedication and hard work by communities to keep their languages alive and thriving for now and future generations,” he said.

The government awarded $299,922 to seven Aboriginal community organisations and groups in the 2019-20 round of the program.

READ MORE: New Closing the Gap targets aim to up number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages spoken, reduce incarceration and suicide rates


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