Learning and preserving First Nations languages

Expressions of interest are now open for communities and schools seeking to connect with, teach, and preserve local First Nations languages.

The Federal Government is investing more than $14 million to support primary schools to teach Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages in classrooms across Australia.

Expressions of interest are now open for the First Nations Languages Education Program which aims to teach and strengthen Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages.

Read the Term 4 edition of School News HERE

The Program has been developed in partnership with First Languages Australia (FLA), the national peak body for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages. The initiative recognises that each community will have different aspirations and needs for teaching and sustaining First Nations languages. As well as funding a local language plan, it will also support up to 60 First Nations Language educators in primary schools across Australia.

assistant Minister for Indigenous Australians Malarndirri McCarthy said: “It’s important to know that Indigenous languages, from the oldest continuing cultures on earth, will be taught in classrooms around the country.

“All students, Indigenous and non-Indigenous will benefit from this program that will ensure First Nations languages thrive into the future.”

Assistant Minister for Education Senator Anthony Chisholm: “Preserving the languages of the world’s oldest continuous civilisation is central to promoting a strong and vibrant First Nations culture within Australia and to the rest of the world.

“The program will help strengthen and preserve languages, cultures, identities and the wellbeing of First Nations people and support school attendance, engagement and academic achievement for students.

“It will also help support the placement of up to 60 First Nations language educators in primary schools that are involved in local community partnerships from 2024.”

The Program aims to progress Target 16 of Closing the Gap, to support a sustained increase in the number and strength of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages being spoken.

First Languages Australia will work with each community who submits an EOI to understand their local language needs, support them to identify partner schools and develop a language plan that maps the pathway for the placement of educators within schools. Communities who complete a language plan with First Languages Australia will then be invited to apply for a grant.

Expressions of interests are now open, and close on February 28, 2024.

For more on First Nations Languages in schools, read our Special Report.

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