13 March 2020
ALS Welcomes Proclamation of Aboriginal Languages Act 2017
The Aboriginal Legal Service (NSW/ACT) Limited (‘ALS’) welcomes the proclamation of the historic Aboriginal Languages Act 2017, saying it is a way forward in securing the preservation, protection and promotion of Aboriginal languages in NSW.
The Act, which became law on 24 October, 2017, is the first Legislation in Australia to acknowledge that Aboriginal people are the custodians of Aboriginal languages and further strengthens connections to Aboriginal culture and identity.
Commenting on the proclamation on the Act on 5 March, 2020, ALS Chairperson Brendan Moyle said the Act provided the legislative framework to allow Aboriginal communities to revive and reinvigorate over 35 languages and 100 dialects in NSW.
“The ALS commends the Berejiklian Government for its acknowledgment that Aboriginal languages are an integral part of the cultural heritage of NSW, with the proclamation of this historic Act,” Mr Moyle said today.
“Importantly for our mob, the Act recognises that, as a result of past Government decisions, Aboriginal languages were almost lost.
“But this historic law now allows a pathway for Aboriginal people, particularly our youth, to be reconnected with their culture and heritage by the reawakening, growing and nurturing of the languages of our First Peoples.
“We welcome the creation of an Aboriginal-led Trust which will be responsible for the State’s Aboriginal Languages Strategy and assist in the allocation of funding for the promotion of Aboriginal languages. For this to work, it is imperative that Aboriginal languages are in the ownership and control of Aboriginal people.
“The Government must ensure that an effective, fully-funded Strategy is developed and implemented through Aboriginal leadership in order to achieve the best outcomes for our people, now and into the future.”
ALS Media Contact: (02) 9213 4112 / firstname.lastname@example.org