28 July 2023
NSW Government funding of Aboriginal languages has doubled in the past year, with 58 community organisations to share in $3.9 million worth of grants.
The funding, provided under the Aboriginal Languages Trust Community Investment Program, supports organisations and groups to reawaken, grow, nurture and raise awareness of the breadth of languages across NSW.
Blue Mountains is one of the recipient communities to be awarded one of 58 grants to Aboriginal organisations and community groups.
Member for Blue Mountains Trish Doyle has welcomed the funding of $24, 785 which will be used for Wagana Dancers (auspiced by Mountains Outreach Community Services). The Mawambul Company will connect with and learn from Country and waterways (Darkinjung, Dharug, Gundungurra and Wiradjuri) to develop songs on Country.
Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Treaty, The Hon David David Harris MP said NSW is the only jurisdiction in Australia with legislation in place that recognises the importance of Aboriginal languages and is following through with a significant increase in funding for their revitalisation.
“Aboriginal languages in NSW are considered critically endangered and that must change to protect the cultural heritage of this State.” Minister Harris said.
“I am proud that this Government has more than doubled the investment into Aboriginal communities to support their efforts to reawaken and reclaim languages.
Ms Doyle said “Languages mean everything to these communities – it’s part of their past, has shaped who they are today and must be preserved and enhanced for the future.”
Chairperson of the Aboriginal Languages Trust, Jason Behrendt said the grants have not only increased in value but in scale as well, with three categories now available to provide opportunities for organisations just starting on a language revitalisation journey to those who are keen to continue languages reclamation work.
“By expanding the range of grants the Trust can reach more Aboriginal communities to support their efforts to reawaken and reclaim languages.” Mr Behrendt said.
“The Trust’s vision is that all NSW Aboriginal languages are strong and healthy. We understand communities’ needs will evolve as their languages grow and we must grow with them.”
A full list of grant recipients can be found on the Aboriginal Languages Trust website.