In providing the necessary access to education, information and knowledge in and about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages, the complex environment for Australia's languages needs to be considered. Specific practices and approaches for language revival and maintenance differ between languages and as such the support provided by government needs to be flexible. There is a wealth of experience in communities and as each community is facing its own set of challenges, sharing these challenges and approaches undertaken can be helpful. The IY2019 offers an opportunity for government to work together to provide a shared and cohesive approach to supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages.
The Australian Government will build on research and data around Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages.
In 2019, we will publish the third iteration of the National Indigenous Languages Report (previously known as the National Indigenous Languages Surveys). In addition, the next iteration of the Implementation Plan for the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan 2013-2023 will recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages as an important cultural determinant of health.
Access to services is an important component to the Australian Government's commitment to the IY2019. For some, where English may be the second, third or fourth language spoken (if at all), provision of services in language is essential for daily life. Government offers many services in many languages. This includes interpreting services in some languages for access to Service Centres, Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations, family and employment services, and the translation of materials into language such as aged care resources or Australian Electoral Commission resources. Through the IAS more than $6 million annually is provided for the delivery of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander interpreting in the Kimberley region of WA, legal interpreting in the NT and cross-border interpreting in NT, SA and WA. However, more can be done to ensure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have access to services in their languages.
The Australian Government will enable and facilitate greater access to language resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The teaching of language is significant. The capacity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to teach their language is a crucial element to providing communities access to the language. The IY2019 provides opportunities for the Australian Government to recognise the significance of career pathways for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander language workers, and to determine ways to improve these pathways, including targeted funding through the ILA program. The Government will also consider how to utilise platforms and institutions to better inform Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander language organisations of opportunities to improve revenue raising for activities.