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Processes examined | Mdash, Fatsil, Language, Indigenous, Members, Ensure, Development, Policy | FATSILC, Fed. Aboriginal Torres Strait Island Languages and Culture
Processes examined PDF Print E-mail

In her keynote address, Director General of the NSW Dept. Aboriginal Affairs Linda Burney stressed the need for Governments to take a holistic approach to Indigenous affairs.The improvement of physical and material circumstances achieves little if it isn't underpinned by the development of infrastructure for cultural heritage. Ms Burney said Governments need to understand that cultural heritage, with language at its heart, is more important than dust-free roads.


Policy Officer Corinne Fagueret, who has played a key role both in the development of the NSW policy, and in consulting with communities around the State, gave an overview of the processes involved through all stages leading to the presentation of the draft policy. Ms Fagueret invited participants to continue with their feedback and to participate where possible in regional forums to incorporate their views.

Recommendations from from Sydney Conference

AMONG the recommendations that came from Sydney are the following:

  • That FATSIL look at the feasibility of establishing its own operating base.
  • That FATSIL strive to ensure that, in any treaty developed for Indigenous Australians, the issue of Indigenous languages being recognized as official Australian languages be enshrined.
  • That FATSIL lobby the Northern Territory Government to employ registered interpreters and translators in all Government agencies and statutory authorities where assistance in communication with Indigenous persons is required. 
  • That FATSIL works toward the development of comprehensive language policies at State and Federal level.
  • That FATSIL strive to ensure that all language policies it helps to develop are understood to be "frameworks within which language projects and programs are to be created".
  • That FATSIL strive to ensure that in all language policies it helps to develop, Indigenous languages be recognized as official Australian languages.
  • That FATSIL consider mounting, and subsequently evaluating, a public education campaign on the state of Indigenous languages (and/or on the rate of global language loss) as a contemporary issue.

Members vote in changes

A number of proposed changes to the Rules of ATSIL were endorsed by members at the AGM. These suggested changes will now be submitted to the Registrar of Aboriginal Corporations. If accepted, the changes will in essence have the following effect.

  • Members will now be required to pay a small annual subscription fee.This is to ensure that membership of FATSIL remains active.
  • The Committee will not consider applications for membership for one month prior to the Annual General Meeting.
  • The Annual General Meeting will be held within five months after the 30th June.
  • No member will be able to hold more than one proxy at a general meeting.
  • Sub committees will be able to meet with a quorum of three rather than five as previously required.

Changes were carried for items 8.1 — 8.1B — 8.1C - 8.2 — 8.3 — 9.7 — 9.7A 9.9 — 11C — 11D — 15 (1) — 15(2) — 16(2) — 16(3) — 17(3) — 23(1) — 26(1) — 26(2).

Voting on items 8.1 A -9.1- 9.IA -9.1B- 9.1C and 9.2. relating to the process of election of FATSIL State representatives was deferred.

Item no. 27 was deleted and all other proposed alterations were deferred. Members were sent a copy of the proposed amendments prior to the AGM.

A copy of the changes to the constitution can be obtained by contacting the office.