The National Indigenous Languages Convention was held on Friday 23 February 2018, bringing together community members, language workers, industry partners, educators and government to explore how digital technologies can be used to preserve and pass on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages.

Hear from some of our delegates about the importance of language across communities and from the presenters on the day about how technology can support language revival.

Wrap up

Through innovative displays, inspiring speakers and passionate delegates, the Convention showcased firsthand a range of community-led initiatives and encouraged robust discussion about future possibilities.

The presentations and discussions from the Convention encompassed key themes around digital projects, intellectual property, education resources, art and culture, and philanthropic partnerships. The images below are from visual listener, Devon Bunce, who was illustrating the discussions taking place at the Convention.

Welcome to country illustration from visual listener, Devon Bunce, reflecting the Welcome to Country, the keynote address from Craig Ritchie, CEO, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, and the Ministerial Address from Senator the Hon. Mitch Fifield. 
Ignite, a series of short form presentations showcasing a variety of projects by language centres across Australia and  Indigenous Community Television (ICTV).
First Languages and Intellectual Property, considered collecting, conserving and disseminating language, identifying the issues and ways to protect language, and its presence online.
Digital Approaches, explored a range of projects and why some approaches work better than others, the use of different tools for different communities and how to engage with a young Indigenous audience.
Learning and education, a discussion focussed on education pathways in language teaching and learning, first languages in schools and the curriculum, and online learning resources.
Language Revival, presented different perspectives on communities where either: the spoken language is strong and experiencing reinvigoration; where elders speak language however, wider community knowledge is still developing; or, where language is being reclaimed after not being spoken for long periods of time. The panel shared their experiences and perspectives on language revival across these situations focusing on strategies that work and the reasons for their success.

For more information about the Australian Government’s election commitment visit Protect, preserve and celebrate Indigenous languages page.