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Indigenous languages

08 May 2019

To commemorate the International Year of Indigenous Languages, Australia’s newest 50 cent coin design incorporates 14 translations for ‘coin’ from some of the many Indigenous languages in Australia.

The second National Indigenous Languages Survey conducted in 2014 by the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) recognised that remaining connected to language strengthened wellbeing and self-esteem in Indigenous communities.

According AIATSIS CEO Craig Ritchie, Indigenous languages carry more meaning than the words themselves, just as currency carries meaning beyond its monetary value.

‘The release of these coins is another milestone in recognising the diverse cultures that shape our national story of over 60,000 years’, he says.

Another site that highlights Indigenous languages is Gambay, which has this year released a new First Languages Map. First Languages Australia manager, Faith Baisden says, ‘Gambay highlights more than 700 languages, many of which are grouped by colour to support the sharing of resources between related languages’.

‘In collaboration with local community members, extensive teachers’ notes have been compiled to encourage schools to teach about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages across curriculum areas.’

Visit for more information.


Topic tags: indigenousaustralians, religiousandculturaldiversity, healthycommunitylife

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