Australia’s logo and cultural pattern for the International Year of Indigenous Languages (IY2019) celebrate the diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities throughout Australia.

19 August 2019

The cultural pattern and logo were created by Gilimbaa artist Rachael Sarra, an Aboriginal artist from Goreng Goreng Country, who draws on her heritage to produce pieces that are steeped in culture while being contemporary.

In the Australian Government Action Plan for IY2019, Gilimbaa explains: ‘The cultural pattern is a respectful celebration inspired by the idea of language always being here.

‘The cultural pattern acknowledges the thriving beauty of language as an integral part of culture and identity prior to colonisation. Colours and symbols represent diverse communities including rural, remote, desert, rainforest, urban, coastal and Torres Strait Islanders.’

In Australia, of the estimated original 250 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages, only around 120 are still spoken. All remain at risk of being lost.

IY2019 presents an opportunity for all Australians to engage in a national conversation about Indigenous languages, their connection to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and the unique role they play in shaping the nation.

The cultural pattern and logo are available for use for specific IY2019 activities. The artwork can only be used with the express permission of the Department of Communication and the Arts (DoCA). Please direct enquiries to IY2019 [at]

Find out about the meaning behind the logo and cultural pattern by watching our video.

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