One of UNESCO's major objectives is to raise awareness of both the risks associated with the loss of language, and how language and knowledge systems could aid in sustainable development, reconciliation, and good governance. Many Australians may not be aware of the importance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages to Australia's cultural identity, or of the risk associated with their loss. There are many ways we can start to raise this awareness.
As an integral part of cultural expression Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages are celebrated through many cultural and creative events across the country. We will put a spotlight on these activities and increase the focus on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages to not only celebrate them but share the challenges they are facing. The Australia Council for the Arts is a key provider of funding for arts activities around the nation and it supports a broad range of activities to support First Nations arts and cultural expression, delivered through funding programs, targeted investment, capacity building, and strategic development and research. Screen Australia's Indigenous Department directs funding towards producing versions of their Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander content in language. The IY2019 affords an opportunity for new partnerships between government bodies and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander language groups to occur in these arenas and other cultural events. We encourage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander language streams to be incorporated in existing events or conferences and for specific events to be held to draw attention to the year and its significance.
Broadcasters, such as the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) and the SBS, play a crucial role in raising awareness of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages among all Australians. The ABC launches initiatives through its Indigenous platform and is currently undertaking activities such as This Place and station identifications (know as 'indents') in language on ABC Local Radio. National Indigenous Television (NITV), as part of the SBS network, makes content by, for and about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and provides drama, documentary, news and current affairs, sport, entertainment, and feature films. In addition, there are 91 long-term and 60 temporary community radio licences representing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community interests throughout Australia, with programming in some 25 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages. Through the IAS, around $21 million per year has been allocated across 44 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander broadcasting and media organisations (urban, regional and remote) for the delivery of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander broadcasting services. The contribution from our national and community broadcasters will continue under the IY2019.
The Australian Government will increase its promotion of activities that support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages under the IY2019 by collaborating across government, with non-government bodies and interested stakeholders. We will facilitate the sharing of stories and information on the importance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages that demonstrate the connection of language to land, culture, history, science, knowledge systems, and wellbeing. This will include a renewed focus on the awareness of tourism experiences or recreational activities that feature Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages. Market research from Tourism Australia found that approximately 15 per cent of our international visitors engage in an Aboriginal tourism experience,viii and 60 per cent of international consumers find Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander tourism experiences appealing.ix