IY2019 logo

The United Nations General Assembly has declared 2019 the International Year of Indigenous Languages (IY2019) to raise awareness of the crucial role languages play in people’s daily lives.

In Australia, of the estimated original 250 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages, only around 120 are still spoken. Of these approximately 90 per cent are endangered.

IY2019 is an opportunity to continue raising awareness and taking further actions to improve preservation and promotion of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages.

Australian Government Action Plan

The Australian Government Action Plan continues to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages under the IY2019. Our Action Plan complements the IY2019 UNESCO Action Plan.

Young Galpu Man plays sunset song at Wallaby Beach
Sharing Indigenous stories from Indigenous voices

Find out more about the many activities and programs happening around Australia to protect, preserve and promote Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages.

Elderly indigenous man reading to a group of children.
What languages do you identify with?

Across the country, people are identifying with or speaking different traditional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages. Tell us what languages you identify with.

Calendar of activities

Take a look at our Calendar of activities to find out what’s happening in your area to celebrate International Year of Indigenous Languages

What's new

Indigenous arts and languages. Indigenous arts and languages
The Indigenous Unit of the Australian Film, Television and Radio School (AFTRS) has launched a podcast series which provides...
Indigenous arts and languages. Indigenous arts and languages
On the anniversary of United Nations Declaration of Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) a unique group performs an ancient...
Indigenous arts and languages. Indigenous arts and languages
The Mirima Dawang Woorlab-gerring Miriwoong Language and Cultural Centre is developing innovative ways to reawaken languages.