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Junyirri launched in Cairns


Junyirri: A framework for planning community language projects has been produced to
support community language planning toward a long-term vision. Input from language
centres around the country has been essential in ensuring that the framework is useful in
all language contexts.
Junyirri can be used to identify:
▪ community aspirations for language use,
▪ the available assets, and
▪ the types of programs that might be suitable for a particular situation.

Read more: Junyirri launched in Cairns

DGR status for language centres

In the past, some language centres have had trouble registering for Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status. To receive DGR status organisations must have a charitable purpose that is for the benefit of the public. Language centres should no longer have trouble getting their charity, PBI or DGR status recognised.

In 2014, the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) was established as the independent national regulator of charities. That year, the ACNC released The Commissioner’s Interpretation Statement: Indigenous charities. In line with this statement, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander language centres meet the public benefit test as they are working to address disadvantage. You can read the statement here: https://www.acnc.gov.au/ACNC/Publications/Interp_IndigenousCharities.aspx

Information of specific to language centres, compiled by First Languages Australia and the ACNC, is published as page 51 of Warra: Building teams, building resources

If you need further guidance please do not hesitate to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..



MOU signed with AIATSIS


AIATSIS CEO Craig Ritchie and FLA Manager Faith Baisden sign the MOU. Photo AIATSIS

Increased access to language materials, collaboration and promotion of language projects
are the focus of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which was signed by the
Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) and First
Languages Australia in May.

AIATSIS CEO Craig Ritchie said the partnership is especially significant given the
Institute’s role as caretakers of a vast collection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
language materials. First Languages Australia Manager Faith Baisden said it is essential
that both organisations honour the trust placed in them by the language custodians.
‘This means that we work together to see that language knowledge is securely archived,
and that we find ways to make it more accessible for community members when they need
to research and use the materials for new language projects,’ Ms Baisden said.





First Languages Australia consults on New South Wales draft languages legislation

Draft Legislation

First Languages Australia Manager, Faith Baisden, with NSW Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Leslie Williams, at the launch of the first stage of draft legislation to recognise and protect NSW Aboriginal languages. 


First Languages Australia is pleased to be involved in consultations with the government of New South Wales to draft legislation to recognise and promote Aboriginal languages in that state.

Speaking at the launch of the drafting of the legislation Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Leslie Williams, acknowledged the impact that language use has on wellbeing within communities.

"We know that Aboriginal people who speak their language are healthier, Aboriginal children learning a language do better at school, and that language renewal strengthens communities. If legislation can so effectively take away Aboriginal language, so too it can restore and revive Aboriginal language.” Said the Minister.

First Languages Australia Manager Faith Baisden, spoke with Minister Williams at the launch and will continue to offer input to the process with a view to seeing it replicated in other states and territories.


First Languages Australia and ABC National Media Project

Federal Minister launches First Languages Australia – ABC Media Project.

 November 2016
 Federal Minister launches First Languages Australia ABC Media Project
 Caption: Lionel Lovett from Parkes, Minister for Communications and the Arts Mitch Fifield, Geoff Anderson from First Languages Australia, and Nick Lowther Chief of Staff ABC Western Plains, at the launch of ABC- First Languages Australia Regional radio call-sign IDs in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Languages Project.

The ABC Regional – First Languages Australia, Radio Call-sign IDs in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Languages Project was launched by the Federal Minister for Communications and the Arts Mitch Fifield, at the Artlands Regional Arts Conference in Dubbo in October.

First Languages Australia Committee Member Geoff Anderson, was thrilled to represent the organisation at the launch and to meet the Minister to discuss other national initiatives to promote and support languages. Parkes language teacher Lionel Lovett, also met with the Minister after the launch, which was attended by hundreds of arts workers from around the country.

 ABC Regional radio call-sign IDs in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages

Puliima call for presentations and workshops

Puliima 2017

Yamani song sharing at Puliima 2015. Photo: Katherine Soutar

The planning and preparations for Puliima 2017 have begun, and the deadline for presentation and workshop submissions is Monday 27th February 2017.
Find all the details here



Make a #MemeML for International Mother Language Day


ANGKENTYE AHELHE UTNENGE-NTYELE ANWERNE AKALTYELE ANTHETYENHENGE. "Language is the spirit from the land. That's the way we teach it." Felicity Hayes, Leonie Palmer, Veronica Turner, MK Turner, Lorrayne Gorey were working with Margaret Carew on messages in #Arrernte, from central Australia.

Once again First Languages Australia is working with our international partners to encourage the use of our languages on social media to celebrate International Mother Language Day.

This year we are having a meme challenge and calling on you to share memes in your language over the next few weeks. You can find all the details here.

Post your meme with the #MemeML and #yourlanguagename to participate. And tag us@firstlanguagesaustralia on Facebook if you would like us to share your image.

Read more: Make a #MemeML for International Mother Language Day

Miromaa awarded Community Organisation of the Year


Miromaa Aboriginal Language and Technology Centre staff accepting the Dreamtime Award

First Languages Australia would like to extend congratulations to the dedicated team at the Miromaa Aboriginal Language and Technology Centre, on receiving the Community Organisation of the Year Award at the inaugural National Dreamtime Awards.

“To be sitting alongside the other nominees in itself was an amazing achievement, but to
win was a moment which is hard to put into words,” Daryn McKenny said. “To then be
announced as winners with the likes of Jessica Mauboy, Clinton Pryor, Stan Grant and
Gawurra was like a dream.”




Western Australia Traineeship for Language Teachers


WA Aboriginal language teacher trainees

2017 has seen continued interest and enrolment in the WA Department of Education Traineeship for Aboriginal Languages Teachers. There is currently a total of 36 trainees: 18 who have completed Stage 1 and 2 ( Intake 17) and 18 who have completed Orientation for Intake 18. The traineeship, which has been running successfully for more than twenty years, is the only training program that provides community members with a pathway to teaching their languages independently in the classroom.

First Languages Australia is advocating for each state and territory to adopt such a model. FLA would like to acknowledge Coleen Sherratt and Lola Jones for their ongoing commitment to the development and delivery of the program and the support of each of their trainees and teachers.

 Lote3   Lote2

WA Aboriginal language teacher trainees

Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority

The Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) has implemented a curriculum based on the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority’s Framework for Aboriginal Languages and Torres Strait Islander Languages. The Victorian Aboriginal Languages curriculum is now being taught across the state with over 1,000 Victorian students participating in Aboriginal language programs. VCAA also produced ‘Learning about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures’ which outlines the mandatory content descriptions relating to Aboriginal perspectives across the curriculum. 

Marrin Gamu Indigenous Langauages Song Competition 2017

Marrin Gamu

This year, more than 1,400 students took part in our Marrin Gamu Competition with ABC Splash. Contributions were received from 31 schools stretching as far as Jabiru in the Northern Territory, to Bloomfield in Queensland, and Maitland in South Australia. 
The winning video, from Penrhos College Junior School in Como, Western Australia, impressed judges by involving 337 girls from Years 1–6 singing in Noongar, with 186 of these students playing recorders. The students were guided in their language learning by the Noongar students in their classes. The school won a package of language resources from the Noongar Language Center. 

Read more: Marrin Gamu Indigenous Langauages Song Competition 2017

Draft Indigenous Languages Teaching and Employment Strategy

First Languages Australia has collated advice and expertise from the National Indigenous Languages Teaching and Employment Forum held in Adelaide in 2016 into a Draft Indigenous Languages Teaching and Employment Strategy. The draft strategy has been sent to departmental staff, training partners and forum participants for their feedback before prioritising actions. The document can be downloaded here. Feedback will be collated into a final document for distribution in 2018.




Ma Wal – Working together: First Languages Australia and language centres

Ma Wal

Ma Wal meeting attendees. Photo Daryn McKenny

To make the most of having so many of us together in Cairns for Puliima, First Languages Australia hosted Ma Wal, a national meeting of language centres and programs, the day before the forum.

Ma Wal provided a much-needed opportunity for people across the country to share stories of how they are participating in FLA’s national activities and contribute to the direction of the organisation in the coming years.

It was an energetic and inspiring day, made special by the enthusiasm of each of the 100 attendees, the passion of First Languages Australia’s committee, and the dedication of our staff. First Languages Australia would like to thank everyone who took part.


 Download the meeting notes here: MaWalDoc.pdf


Puliima 2017

The Puliima National Indigenous Languages and Technology Forum was once again a great success. Among the inspiring presentations and workshops, First Languages Australia

hosted these panel sessions:

Our Young Champions

From little things, big things grow: Working with partners

First Languages Australia and the ABC

Language activities and wellbeing

What are the links?

The National Placenames Project.

A presentation by Bruce Pascoe

Read more: Puliima 2017

ABC Regional announce the Placenames Project partnership with FLA for 2018


Taribelang placenames video from the ABCs Word Up series.

In their ongoing commitment to collaborating with language workers around the country to promote our languages, ABC Regional have approved a Placenames Project in conjunction with First Languages Australia as the focus of the partnership for 2018.

The project will roll out in a similar way to Mother Tongue with producers from each of the ABC’s 50 regional stations working with interested local communities to share placenames and their stories.

The details are still being finalised - so watch this space!




Contact us

Phone  +61 2 4940 9144  or  1300 975 246
Visit  2 Milton St, Hamilton, NSW, 2303
Post PO Box 74, Hamilton, NSW 2303

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