‘The living voices of our past giving strength to our future.’
First Languages Australia is working toward a future where Aboriginal language communities and Torres Strait Islander language communities have full command of their languages and can use them as much as they wish to.
First Languages Australia was founded in 2013 to support the achievement of the above goal.
The organisation's role can be summarised through three key functions:
First Languages Australia facilitates communication between members of the Aboriginal language networks and Torres Strait Islander language networks; between our communities, governments, partner organisations and key stakeholders; and between these groups and the Australian and international public.
On behalf of our communities, First Languages Australia partners with organisations that have the potential to positively affect the strength of our languages. Our partners include government departments; peak bodies in the areas of health, education, media, justice, tourism and the environment; and our Indigenous organisations and colleagues undertaking relevant work in these areas.
Education is a large part of First Languages Australia’s role. Awareness raising is required across a broad cross section of Australia, including:
- language communities who are not yet undertaking language work, to help them understand the possibilities and benefits of language use, the importance of their languages and the urgency of the situation
- language communities who are working hard to maintain or revive their languages, to let them know what support is available including funding, tools, techniques and training that may be relevant to their situation
- broader Australian and international audiences, to create an environment of support for our language communities in which there is an understanding of the importance of strengthening all of our languages, the possibilities of multilingualism and the benefits of language use for all Australians.