The United Nations General Assembly has declared the period between 2022 and 2032 as the International Decade of Indigenous Languages to draw attention to the critical status of many Indigenous languages across the world and encourage action for their preservation, revitalization and promotion.
Following on from the International Year of Indigenous Languages in 2019 that sought to raise awareness of the crucial role languages play in people's daily lives, the United Nations has designated the period 2022 to 2023 as the International Decade of Indigenous Languages (the International Decade).
All of Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages are under threat and require ongoing work to be maintained.
Across Australia a range of programs are currently in place to support First Nations languages including the Australian Government's Indigenous Languages and Arts program. The program supports community-led language programs delivered by a network of 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 First Nations language and arts projects are also supported through annual funding.
The Australian Government’s participation in the International Decade will embed a best-practice approach to working in partnership with First Nations people to improve outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages, consistent with Priority Reform one in the National Agreement on Closing the Gap (formal partnerships and shared decision making).
The Office for the Arts has established the International Decade of Indigenous Languages Directions Group to work in partnership with the Australian Government to develop Voices of Country – Australia’s National Action Plan for the International Decade.
For more information on the Directions Group, visit the International Decade of Indigenous Languages Directions Group webpage.
This logo and cultural pattern were originally developed by artist Rachael Sarra (Goreng Goreng) for the International Year of Indigenous Languages. Now that the International Year of Indigenous Languages has been extended to the International Decade, the Office for the Arts worked with First Nations language experts and Gilimbaa to evolve the logo and the cultural pattern.
The International Decade of Indigenous languages logo and cultural pattern was refreshed by David Williams, a Wakka Wakka man and Executive Director of Gilimbaa.
The International Decade cultural pattern acknowledges and celebrates language through a past, present and future lens. It connects language directly to First Nations culture and identity.
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.