FATSIL consults Govt. on education funding PDF Print E-mail

A FATSIL delegation recently visited Canberra to discuss the Commonwealth Government's announcement of a $108 million budget over four years for language education in schools, and for a new language teaching fellowships programme.

 

Chairperson Lester Coyne and New South Wales delegate Kevin Lowe (Chief Education Officer in the Aboriginal Curriculum Unit of the Board of Studies, NSW) met with the Indigenous Affairs Advisor to the Minister for Education, Science and Training, Mr Alan Tudge, to discuss a range of issues related to Commonwealth funding of language programs.

Key points covered at the meeting were:

FATSIL's response to the MCEETYA survey, with the peak body calling for increased accountability from the states for federal funds allocated for language programs within states and territories.

Ensuring that Indigenous languages are included in those supported through the new $4 million language teaching fellowship program.

Recognition of the disproportionate allocation of funding currently given to non- Indigenous languages through the LOTE program.

Follow up on the Government's commitment to conduct ongoing consultations to shape the language budget for the quadrennium 2005-08.

This year's federal budget provides new funding of $4 million over four years for in- country fellowships for language teachers.Teachers of all the major non-English languages taught in Australian schools are considered eligible for the new fellowships, however the Government had not to this point considered the inclusion of Indigenous educators in the scheme.

Each fellowship will offer a teacher an immersion experience in the language, country and culture about which they are teaching. It is anticipated that 120 - 140 fellowships will be available each year and that the first fellowships will be offered in January 2004. In addition, the Budget continues to provide funding to Languages Other Than English (LOTE) programme, with an allocation of $104 million over the next four years.

More places to approach for grant funding

UPDATE

ATSIS provides funding under the Preservation of Indigenous Languages and Recordings (PIER) Output to: support community-initiated projects aimed at maintaining, reviving, recording and reclaiming Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages;

  • promote the use and development of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages; and
  • improve awareness and appreciation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages amongst the wider Australian community and government agencies involved in language and literacy issues.

Please contact your local ATSIS Regional Office for further information on the program or visit the ATSIS home page at http://www.atsis.gov.au/

ATSIS new address in Canberra is

7th Floor, Lovett Tower
13 Keltie St,Woden ACT 2606 PO Box 17 ACT 2606

Contact:

Acting Manager — Colin Strand Tel: (02) 6 I 21 4926
Fax: (02) 6285 3603
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