The United Nations General Assembly declared 2019 the International Year of Indigenous Languages (IY2019) to raise awareness of the crucial role languages play in people's daily lives.
All of Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages are under threat and require ongoing work to be maintained.
IY2019 provided an opportunity to continue raising awareness and taking further actions to improve the preservation and promotion of Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages.
Across Australia a range of programs are in place to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages including the Australian Government's Indigenous Languages and Arts program. The program supports community-led language programs delivered by over 20 Indigenous language centres across Australia. The centres deliver essential work to preserve, revive and maintain over 150 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages. A range of language and arts projects are also supported through annual funding.
The United Nations has declared an International Decade of Indigenous Languages, to begin in 2022. This acknowledges the need for further work to protect Indigenous languages worldwide.