The Convention will bring people together to develop a shared understanding of the issues faced by those working to protect, preserve and celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages, and facilitate a collaborative approach to the work going on around the nation. It will also be an opportunity to showcase and experience a range of digital technologies that can be used to support the capture and learning of languages.
Of the estimated 250 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages, about 120 are still spoken and most of these are currently considered endangered.
Current barriers to strengthening languages in communities include insufficient resources and capacity to capture, record and store language material, and importantly, to teach language.
The Convention is part of the Government’s $10 million election commitment over four years to protect, preserve and celebrate Indigenous languages.
The Government also provides $20 million annually through the Indigenous Languages and Arts program to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to revive and maintain languages. This is delivered through a network of 22 Indigenous Language Centres and through funding to develop and present art that enables Indigenous communities to preserve, maintain and celebrate their cultures.