Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at
Sat Mar 24 12:46:02 UTC 2007


Date: 2007-03-23

Original Article:

The Bracks Government today invested $10,000 in a new strategy to revive
Victoria's Indigenous languages, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Gavin
Jennings announced today. Mr Jennings said the new approach would help
revitalise Victorias traditional languages, which was a significant aspect
of preserving Indigenous culture.

Aboriginal cultural heritage is about language, stories and traditions as
well as land and objects, Mr Jennings said. There used to be 40 separate
Indigenous languages and many Aboriginal people spoke four or five
different languages. These languages are not spoken anywhere else in the
world, making them a unique part of our cultural heritage and we should
not let them die out. Mr Jennings said Victorian Aboriginal Corporations
for Languages (VACL)  and the Federation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander Languages (FATSIL) will now develop a new policy on Indigenous

The Bracks Government has provided $10,000 to help VACL run a two-day
workshop, bringing together experts in this area, he said. This workshop
will produce recommendations for a draft policy to be prepared for
consultation with the community and State Government. This important area
of work will help Indigenous Victorians reconnect to their past and
celebrate their culture. Chairperson of VACL, John Atkinson, said the
policy would aim to make Indigenous language education more accessible to
the Aboriginal community. Language contributes to the wellbeing of
Aboriginal communities, strengthens ties between elders and young people
and improves education in general for Indigenous people of all ages, Mr
Atkinson said.

Representatives from VACL, FATSIL, the Aboriginal community, State
Government and the New Zealand Maori Language Commission attended the
workshop. Mr Jennings congratulated FATSIL for contributing $34,000 to the


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