The Legislation

On this page, you’ll find information about what will make up the proposed legislation to recognise and protect NSW Aboriginal Languages. For more information on what is legislation, please see this legislation fact sheet.

The Legislation quick links:

How Legislation Works

Languages Bill Cycle

About the Legislation

The draft Aboriginal Languages Legislation will have two parts:

  • Statements acknowledging the importance of the Aboriginal Languages of NSW and the importance of preventing their loss and
  • Measures to protect and revive NSW Aboriginal languages, including a Strategic Plan and a Centre for Aboriginal Languages of NSW.

Aboriginal languages underpin Aboriginal identity and their revival and teaching must accord with Aboriginal culture and lore. The proposed legislation is about the NSW Government working in partnership with Aboriginal communities to support the revival of Aboriginal languages, and raise awareness of Aboriginal languages amongst the broader NSW population.

Statement of Acknowledgement

The Aboriginal Languages Legislation starts with acknowledgement statements, including recognising:

  • That language is intrinsic to the culture and identity of Aboriginal people and to the intangible cultural heritage of all of the people of New South Wales
  • The rights of Aboriginal people and communities to learn and maintain Aboriginal language
  • The role of the New South Wales Government in recognising, protecting and reviving Aboriginal languages
  • The need to take action to revive and protect Aboriginal languages, to prevent the further loss of Aboriginal languages, and to ensure the survival of Aboriginal languages.

Strategic plan

A five-year Strategic Plan will be developed that focuses on funding, programs and partnerships for the revival and protection of Aboriginal languages. The Strategic Plan will outline the practical activities to support Aboriginal language revival, and the teaching and sharing of Aboriginal languages. Government agencies will also be held accountable for implementing their commitments through annual reporting to Parliament.

Possible areas for inclusion in the Strategic Plan could be:

  • Upholding Aboriginal Community Ownership and Control – such as building community capacity to control Aboriginal language revival
  • Nurturing Aboriginal Languages – such as supporting effective language revival activities
  • Improving Wellbeing and Education – such as language teaching in schools and higher education, and language use in human service and justice areas
  • Developing an Aboriginal Languages sector – such as a workforce development strategy for the various roles within the Aboriginal languages sector
  • Wider appreciation and use – such as placenames, signage, and everyday use of language in business of government.

NSW Aboriginal Languages Centre

The Centre for Aboriginal Languages of NSW will be responsible for overseeing the implementation of the Strategic Plan, and the legislation as a whole. The Centre for Aboriginal Languages of NSW will work in partnership with Aboriginal communities, Aboriginal Language and Culture Nests, regional language centres, schools, universities and government on Aboriginal language revival.

The Centre for Aboriginal Languages of NSW will be a business unit of Aboriginal Affairs, rather than a formal building or entity.

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