The Federal Government will splash $57m to boost support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s culture through languages and the arts.
The money will be dedicated to the government’s Indigenous Languages and Arts program, shared between 84 community-based activities over the next three years to support language services.
Bunuba Elder and author Joe Ross said strengthening Indigenous languages through the arts was important for future generations.
“We would welcome any support by the Federal Government that want to support our First Nations people in revitalising language in their groups,” he said.
“We’ve lost of mediums and ways of transmitting language and I think that new mediums need to be found.
“One of the great ones is by documenting and having books and stories, bilingual stories as an example.”
The funding from the Federal Government includes more than $6 million towards eight activities which will help bring stories to life and preserve culture, and more than $4.5 million towards 44 Indigenous languages and arts activities.
These activities include cultural performances, establishing digital languages databases and community workshops.
Federal Indigenous Australians Minister Linda Burney said arts and languages had never been more important to First Nations communities.
“Speaking languages and embracing artistic expression empowers Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to connect to Country and community which is crucial for our being,” she said.
“Australia is home to the world’s oldest continuous cultures and that needs to be preserved for future generations as strong, supported and flourishing.
“The Indigenous Languages and Arts program is a stepping stone to achieving exactly that and I’m pleased to see a wide geographic spread of organisations and communities across regional, remote and urban Australia benefitting from this investment.”
The funding is part of the contribution towards achieving Target 16 under the National Agreement on Closing the Gap.