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Voice of the Land - Volume 12

 Our Languages Are the Voice of the Land

The FATSIL NEWSLETTER OCTOBER 1999
ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER CORPORATION OF LANGUAGES
VOLUME 12

 

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Billy Trott
Forum calls for more Govt support for languages


The Speakers at the FATSIL National Indigenous Languages Forum, held in Perth in early October, targeted the need for Government to upgrade languages to a priority area, when allocating resources for indigenous cultural heritage.

RIGHT: Billy Trott was one of the large group from Kalgoorlie who helped with the display at the National Indigenous Languages Expo in Perth.

With many positive outcomes from existing ATSILIP funded programs discussed, it was acknowledged that the profile of indigenous languages must be strengthened. Both Federal and State Government bodies need to be made aware of the pivotal role of language in cultural development, and the urgency surrounding moves to halt language loss in all areas of Australia.

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Edna Hopiga from Bidjadunga Community via Broome.
Recommendations from the Forum will call for a reversal of the Northern Territory Government's planned cuts to bilingual education, with a proposal that discussions take place between FATSIL delegates and the NT Dept. of Education. The presentations from a number of speakers highlighted the effectiveness of the bilingual education program in supporting language retention within their communities.

Other recommendations from the Forum related to:—

 

  • Approaching Ministers for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Affairs in each State to raise awareness and support for languages:
  • Examining the employment and training strategies for indigenous language workers and linguists.
  • Continuation of ATSILIP funding beyond 2000:
  • The development of policy for copyright and intellectual property in relation to indigenous languages.
  • Increased FATSIL representation on the Indigenous Reference Group.
  • Monitoring the distribution of Language Access Initiatives Funds.

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Ted Rubin from Ipswich, Queensland
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Albert Burgman from Pundulmurra College with Rosie Munro from Bidjadunga Community.