We are very pleased to share news of the announcement today by Minister Ken Wyatt and Minister Paul Fletcher of $22.8 million in new funding for Indigenous languages. As part of the Commonwealth Implementation Plan for Closing the Gap, the funding will include additional support for existing language centres and the establishment of three new language centres.

The Ministers’ press release states that:

Extra funding of $22.8 million for the ILA program will include:

  • • Funding to establish three new Indigenous language centres
  • • Additional funding to support existing ILA-funded Indigenous language centres
  • • Increased support for projects that protect the most at-risk Indigenous languages
  • • New investment in the development of place-based partnerships between Indigenous language centres and local service delivery partners in health and early childhood.

Minister for Indigenous Australians, the Hon Ken Wyatt AM MP, said that strengthening languages is central to achieving outcomes across all Closing the Gap targets, including in health, early childhood, and employment.

“Language is fundamentally important for Indigenous Australians, including for non-speakers,” Minister Wyatt said.

“Speaking language helps to keep Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people connected to their country. It also provides new job opportunities and supports improved outcomes in education for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people – helping Indigenous communities to thrive.”

This enhanced support is designed to accelerate efforts by the network of ILA-funded language centres to increase the number and strength of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages being spoken. It will also create new jobs and career pathways for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who speak Indigenous languages.

First Languages Australia will share more detailed information about the distribution of the funding once it becomes available.