Queensland preserving world’s oldest languages

Minister for Fire and Emergency Services and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships The Honourable Craig Crawford

A new Palaszczuk Government language policy will help preserve, promote and revitalise languages of the world’s oldest living cultures. On Indigenous Literacy Day, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Craig Crawford said the Many Voices: Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Languages Policy is another significant step towards a reframed relationship with First Nations people. “This policy, the first of its kind in Queensland, has been developed in partnership with representatives of various Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander language groups,” Mr Crawford said. “It will help strengthen work to preserve First Nations languages, with less than one in 10 Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Queenslanders reportedly speaking an Australian Indigenous language at home. “The Palaszczuk Government acknowledges the ongoing impact of historic practices that separated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and prohibited people for speaking their own language. “We’re committed to working with traditional language speakers, communities and organisations through initiatives including Indigenous Language Grants to help stem language loss. “The Mossman State School in the Far North is among last year’s grant recipients, using the funds to install a sign in Kuku Yalanji language — a visible display of the school’s pride in language and culture,” he said. The new policy follows last month’s historic Palaszczuk Government commitment towards a new Treaty Advancement Committee to progress the Path to Treaty process with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. The commitment followed three months of state-wide consultation by an Eminent Panel of elders.

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