Independent News For The Australian Public Service
Edition Number 396. Updated Tuesday, 11 February 2014

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Funding to preserve Indigenous language

Funding for new language preservation projects, helping Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples keep their languages alive, has been announced.
 The Indigenous Languages Support program will support 42 additional activities, enabling communities to develop culturally-appropriate learning resources across a range of new media and through partnerships with schools, cultural organisations and libraries.
 Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion said the $2.6 million funding would bring the total investment of Australian Government funding for Indigenous languages to more than $13 million in 2013-14.
 “Australian Government support for the protection of Indigenous languages is also an investment in the rich cultural heritage of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, protecting and preserving it for future generations,” Senator Scullion said.

'Investment in heritage'
 He said many community groups would use their share of the funding to digitise existing language learning resources. Audio and video content would be developed to make languages more accessible to more people in communities across Australia.
 “For example, in Western Australia, Nyamba Buru Yawuru will establish a web page, a smartphone dictionary and phrase book app, as well as animations and interactive resources to support the teaching of the Yawuru language in school and at home,” Senator Scullion said.
 “The Northern Territory Library will create engaging language resources for a number of Indigenous languages. These will have a wide appeal and a range of uses, based on the simple flash card concept with added audio and video content.”
 He said the funding responded to recommendations made by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs’ 2012 report into language learning in Indigenous communities.

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