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National Meeting in Canberra

First Languages Australia members met in Canberra recently with staff from the Ministry for the Arts in the Department of the Attorney General to discuss development of future strategies for languages support.

From back left at the meeting were: Anita Mayers, Melinda Holden, George Hayden, Karen Hayward, Nora Cooke, Paul Paton, Kendall Clayton, Alison Todd, Mandy Whitford, Wendy Dalitz, Kylie Nelson. Front row: Bridget Priman, Leonora Adidi, Karina Lester, Geoff Anderson, Bruce Pascoe.

Awards given to language champions

Congratulations go out to three members of the First Languages Australia network for awards received recently.

Noongar linguist, Denise Smith-Ali has been announced Western Australia’s Local Hero 2014 in the WA Awards for Australian of the Year. The award is in recognition of the tireless dedication Denise has shown to language work in the state. She joins recipients from the other States and Territories as finalists for the national awards to be announced on January 25 in Canberra.

Author, editor, social commentator and First Languages Australia Director Bruce Pascoe was this year awarded the Prime Minister's Literary Award for Young Adult Fiction for his 27th book, Fog a Dox.

First Languages Australia Director Kevin Lowe and Tyson Yunkaporta were honoured with the 2013 Colin Marsh Award for their paper, The Inclusion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander content in the Australian National Curriculum: A cultural cognitive and socio-political evaluation, published in Curriculum Perspectives Volume 33, No 1.

Out and about

Over the past months First Languages Australia has hosted meetings in Adelaide and at the national conference Puliima in Melbourne. Representatives Melinda Holden, Bridget Priman and Paul Paton were also honoured to be invited by the Western and Northern Aboriginal Language Alliance to attend the Wanala Conference 2013, to formally introduce the organisation to those attending.

The strength of the First Languages Australia is grounded in the support of language workers, project teams and centres nationally. You can assist in the work of the organisation by encouraging your co-workers to join the mailing list or become a member.

Collectively First Languages Australia members work to ensure that the organisation is kept informed of the needs of language workers and language groups nationally. As members of First Languages Australia you are encouraged to: * Speak up about the needs of your languages and your language programs, * Keep us informed of your successes and new initiatives, and * Provide First Languages Australia with feedback to contribute to discussions with Government.

Australian First Languages Collections Strategy

Connecting communities to collected words.

The Australian First Languages Collections Strategy 2013 is an historic effort to uncover and share the linguistic treasures of the First Languages of Australia held within our collecting institutions.

The goals of the strategy are to coordinate awareness and management of the wealth of materials held in collections that relate to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages. Key elements of the project are:

  •  the identification of language materials
  •  communication between institutions about materials held
  •  coordinating digitisation between institutions
  •  exploring best options for archiving of materials
  •  making materials accessible for Aboriginal community members
  •  supporting the creation of a one stop portal for access to First Language materials.

Download the National Indigenous Collections Strategy.


Contact Us

+61 2 4940 9144  or
1300 975 246
First Languages Australia
Postal address
PO Box 528 Newcastle 2300
Level 1/840 Hunter St
Newcastle West, NSW 2302

Learn more

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  • Australia’s First Languages +

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  • Why maintain languages? +

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