Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Ben Franklin and the Aboriginal Languages Trust have today launched the Trust’s Five Year Strategic Plan which will address Closing the Gap target 16 aimed at increasing the number and strength of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Languages being spoken in NSW.

The Strategic Plan has been developed in consultation with Aboriginal communities, organisations and individuals and seeks to increase the use of Aboriginal Languages, support Aboriginal language groups and raise awareness of the contributions that Language brings to Community and the State.

Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Ben Franklin said the Strategic Plan will further revitalise Language and ensure that Culture continues to flourish in NSW.

“Across NSW, Aboriginal Languages are being reawakened by the love, commitment, and hard work of Aboriginal Language Custodians and their Communities,” Mr Franklin said

“The NSW Government promised in legislation and by traditional message stick to invest in Aboriginal Language revitalisation efforts and we are delivering on that promise with a commitment of more than $138 million over the next 10 years.

“The Trust’s Strategic Plan presents the opportunity to take a unique approach to implement policies and programs that will create genuine intergenerational change, which will be achieved by initiatives designed by, with, and for Aboriginal Communities.”

Executive Director of the Aboriginal Languages Trust and proud Gamilaroi and Dhunghutti person Clare McHugh said the Strategic Plan Strategic Plan sets out the Trust’s ambition for Aboriginal languages in NSW over the next five years.

“Through these consultations the Strategic Plan captures the aspirations and vision of Communities ensuring an outcomes-based approach to language revitalisation. Furthermore, a co-designed evaluation framework is embedded in the Strategic Plan facilitating continued co-design and flexibility to identify the changing needs and perspectives with and for Communities,” Ms McHugh said.

 “Last year, the Trust heard from almost 400 NSW Aboriginal Community members that they needed sustainable funding for ongoing Language revitalisation. Continued funding is always an issue with ensuring Aboriginal led initiatives continue to achieve and succeed. We want to see these passionate groups that are driving use of their Languages across their Community to continue to feel supported by ensuring we are listening and doing things differently.

“Reawakening Aboriginal Languages is about giving Aboriginal children their sense of belonging and investing in them for the future and for the generations of Aboriginal people across NSW to come.”

The Aboriginal Languages Trust was established in 2020 to help resource and network Language Communities to carry out Language revitalisation work and have subsequently worked with Aboriginal Communities to design a Strategic Plan that supports this commitment.

The vision of the Aboriginal Languages Trust is to ensure all NSW Aboriginal Languages are strong and healthy and the Strategic Plan sets out the framework for language revitalisation across NSW. This Strategic Plan was developed through multiple consultations, forums, workshops and engagements with Communities and Aboriginal Language practitioners as well as Government stakeholders.