PDF Print E-mail

This is an urgent request to all of you who love language, value it as a national treasure, and would like to see the preservation of our indigenous languages. The Northern Territory Education Department is proposing to phase out bilingual education in Northern Territory schools, contrary to the wishes of many Aboriginal communities which have bilingual programmes. (For the NT Department of Education Statement, and copies of the Minister's press release, see http://www.ntde.nt.gov.au/announce )

If you are concerned about this, you can send letters/faxes to the two Ministers concerned:
Peter Adamson Minister for Education and Training:
Phone 08 89996266. Fax 08 89817440:

Tim Baldwin, Minister for Aboriginal Development:
Phone 08 89997514 Fax 08 89817511.
Parliament House State Square Darwin NT 0800.

As well, you could print out the petition below prepared by the Australian Education Union, and circulate it.

Please send the completed petitions in an envelope marked:
Bilingual Petitions to the Australian Education Union.
GPO Box 4494
Darwin NT 0801

Many thanks.

Petition to the Honourable the Speaker and Members of the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory.

We the undersigned respectfully showeth that the progressive withdrawal of the Bilingual Programs in Northern Territory Schools will mean that: Aboriginal People are being told that their written and spoken languages have no official place in NT schools for their children; access to English literacy will be more difficult if literacy is not achieved first in the language the children speak (national and international evidence supports this); the nationally and internationally recognised work done by the NT Bilingual Programs in collecting and maintaining language resources will be discontinued (this is part of the heritage of all Australians); Aboriginal teachers will have greatly reduced career paths. Your petitioners urgently request that the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory maintain and continue support for Bilingual Programs in NT schools, given the high level of community support for these programs, and your petitioners as in duty bound will ever pray.

To:
Hon. Mr: Peter Adamson NT Minister of Education and Training Parliament House
Darwin NT 0800