The International Decade of Indigenous Languages Directions Group is working in partnership with the Australian Government on initiatives for the UNESCO International Decade of Indigenous Languages 2022–32.

2022–2032 International Decade of Indigenous Languages logo.

The Office for the Arts has established the International Decade of Indigenous Languages Directions Group (Directions Group) to shape Australia's participation in the UNESCO International Decade of Indigenous Languages 2022–2032 (the International Decade). The Directions Group was formed through an Expression of Interest (EOI) process that received 58 applications assessed by a panel that included key First Nations stakeholders.

The Directions Group is comprised of 17 members: 13 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members, including two members representing First Languages Australia; and four ex-officio members from key Government agencies (the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the National Indigenous Australians Agency).

The key purpose of the Directions Group is to develop the Australian National Action Plan for the International Decade in partnership with Government, as well as provide strategic policy direction and work on key projects, such as planning for an Australian launch event.

Australia's International Decade of Indigenous Languages Directions Group's first meeting in Canberra, May 2022.

International Decade of Indigenous Languages Directions Group
Members of the Directions Group pictured left to right: Phillemon Mosby, Denise Smith-Ali, Doug Marmion (AIATSIS), Vicki Couzens, Jillian Mundy, Daryn McKenny, Shania Armstrong, Annalee Pope, Gawura Wanambi, Joyce Bonner, Beau Williams, Emma Lattimore (NIAA), and Pauline Halchuk (OFTA).
Missing from the Photo: Clayton Cruse, Lorraine Injie and Desmond Crump.

Australia's International Decade of Indigenous Languages Directions Group's fourth meeting in Mparantwe (Alice Springs), September 2022.

International Decade of Indigenous Languages Directions Group
Members of the Directions Group pictured with Arrernte elder Sabella Turner left to right: Jillian Mundy, Michelle Manning (NIAA), Joyce Bonner, Annalee Pope, Sabella Turner, Pauline Halchuk (OFTA), Beau Williams, Michelle Bedford (DFAT), Shania Armstrong, Clayton Cruse, Denise Smith-Ali, Sarah Davis (OFTA), Liam Tucker (OFTA), Lorraine Injie, Lauren Reed (AIATSIS) and Daryn McKenny. Missing from photo Dr Vicki Couzens, Phillemon Mosby, Desmond Crump and Gawura Wanambi.

Communiques from the Directions Group two face to face meetings and the Terms of Reference for the Directions Group can be found below. Since the group was established at the beginning of the year the Directions Group has:

  • developed their Terms of Reference and determined their values and vision for languages
  • formed a subcommittee to draft the Directions Group language priorities
  • developed a high level framework for the National Action Plan which will focus on five key themes for the Decade—the five themes are:
    1. stop the loss
    2. community is centre
    3. caring for Country
    4. intergenerational knowledge transfer
    5. truth telling and celebration.

If you have any enquiries regarding the Directions Group please email IndigenousLanguagesSecretariat@arts.gov.au.

The Australian Government acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and their continuing connections to land, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and Elders past, present and future.