Former AIATSIS Chairman, Professor Mick Dodson, once commented that previous surveys on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages painted a complex picture.

Across the country, people are identifying with or speaking different traditional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages to different extents: in some places people may be using a traditional Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander language for everyday communication. In other places people may be re-learning their Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander language. In some places people may be identifying with or speaking more than one Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander language.

In addition, urbanisation has meant that many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people no longer live in the heartlands of their ancestors.

Despite this complex and evolving picture, language continues to be central to one’s sense of identity and belonging. In a submission to Parliament in 2012, A. Turner of the Artepe Aboriginal Corporation said:

“Language is what we know of people – we know of him or her. If they speak my sacred language, I must be related to their kinships. Language is how people identify themselves. Being you is to know your language.”

So tell us, what languages do you identify with? Take the survey below! (It should take about 10 minutes to complete)

PRIVACY COLLECTION NOTICE:

Before you take the survey, please be aware that:

  1. your participation in this survey is voluntary. You do not have to answer any question that you do not want to answer.
  2. we may use individual and collated survey responses to:
    1. inform Government’s understanding of languages and language identification of individuals, including providing input into the National Indigenous Languages Report due to be released publically in late 2019
    2. share your stories publicly on our website and social media channels
    3. provide information that may be useful for Indigenous language organisations and cultural centres so that they are better able to market their materials, including marketing events that may be happening on country
    4. provide information that may be useful for Indigenous language organisations, academic researchers and other government agencies to inform their understanding of Indigenous languages and language identification of individuals.
  3. Because we do not ask for your personal details (ie your name) in the survey, we cannot attribute your words to you.

You can withdraw your survey response

During the survey, you may experience difficult emotions such as sadness (for example, if your language is not strong). If this happens, you may wish to pull out. This is okay and we will not use your survey response. You can withdraw of the survey by emailing the National Indigenous Languages Report (NILR) team at nilr@arts.gov.au. The reference number is how you can withdraw your survey response. You can withdraw your response within 4 weeks of submission. Note that we cannot withdraw your response from collated results if you do not have your reference number.

Privacy

The Department of Communications and the Arts (referred to in this Privacy Policy as ‘we’, ‘our’ or ‘us’) complies with the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (the Privacy Act). The Privacy Act contains 13 Australian Privacy Principles (the APPs) which are rules about how we may collect, use, disclose and store personal and sensitive information, and how you may access and correct records containing your personal or sensitive information. We are committed to protecting your privacy in accordance with the APPs.

For further information about our privacy obligations (including in relation to how to access or correct personal information or make a complaint) and our contact details for privacy matters, please see our Privacy Policy.