First Languages Australia will address an Interdepartmental Meeting in Canberra on the 12th December, to bring into focus the responsibilities of all strands of government to support languages within their portfolios. This meeting has been coordinated at the request of First Languages Australia, with the support of the Indigenous Languages and Arts Program team. It will include the presentation to the government of a range of key issues raised by language centres and network members at meetings over the past eighteen months.
The meeting will be an opportunity to build awareness of:
* the need for increased and committed ongoing federal funding for languages;
* the importance of legislation to protect the rights of first languages speakers;
* the responsibility and role that each Department has regarding Indigenous languages and their communities;
* the benefits (social, financial and cultural) that come with increased connection with first languages; and
* specific actions each Department can take to embed and support language as core to their work.
First Languages Australia has developed an interactive map to display and promote the diversity of Australia's Aboriginal languages and Torres Strait Islander languages. The map is called Gambay, which means 'together' in the Butchulla language of the Hervey Bay region in Queensland. Gambay is the first Australian map to allow Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities control over the way their languages are publicly represented.
The 'person' icons on map dots represent Language Legend clips. These short videos allow language workers and advocates to personally explain the importance of their language/s and demonstrate their passion and dedication to their revival or strength.
The videos are moving expressions of the diversity of Australia's languages, their present endangerment status, and the dreams and achievements of individuals. They provide an opportunity for the public to meet language workers from their regions and learn about the language activities they are involved in, as a bridge to cross-cultural understanding.
So far the map has a collection of over 250 clips, with limitless room for your stories.
You can help to build the collection by contributing short videos of your language legends following the instructions in the above video.