In 2019 the world celebrated the International Year of Indigenous Languages (IYIL2019), focusing efforts and building momentum for the revitalisation and celebration of Indigenous languages worldwide.
IYIL2019 was an opportunity for all Australians to engage in a national conversation about Indigenous languages and their role in supporting cultural resurgence and shaping our national identity.
AIATSIS played a key role in supporting IYIL2019 and had a range of activities and initiatives throughout the year to celebrate and recognise the diversity of Australian Indigenous languages.
AIATSIS IYIL2019 Projects and Initiatives
- Six Aboriginal language dictionaries published.
- Spotify playlist launched, Songs in Language: The Australian Indigenous Languages Playlist.
- Highly successful inaugural Paper and Talk summit.
- AUSTLANG datasets added to data.gov.au.
- AUSTLANG codes adopted by the Library of Congress and implemented by the National Library of Australia's Trove Service.
- AUSTLANG national Code-a-thon held during NAIDOC week, a collaboration between AIATSIS, NLA, Trove, Libraries Australia and the State and Territory libraries.
- IYIL commemorative coin launched in conjunction with the Royal Australian Mint.
- International Women's Day campaign featuring Laurie Baymarrwaŋa and her language work.
- IYIL commerorative stamp launched in conjunction with Australia Post.
- Ngunnawal Welcome to Country recording launched at Canberra International Airport.
- Community led exhibition Ngalipa Nyangu Jaru: Pirrjirdi Ka Ngalpa Mardani (Our Language: Keeping Us Strong) launched in Canberra.
- ABC Canberra acknowledgement of Country developed with the United Ngunnawal Elders Council and AIATSIS.
- Craig Ritchie, AIATSIS CEO was Co-Chair of the UNESCO IYIL Steering Committee.
International Decade of Indigenous Languages from 2022-2032
To cap the year off in spectacular style on December 18 the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming an International Decade of Indigenous Languages from 2022-2032.
Indigenous Australian Languages are integral to the ongoing work that AIATSIS does and there are a range of initiatives and projects going forward that will continue to build on the legacy of IYIL2019.
- 14+ more Indigenous language dictionaries to be published.
- Austlang to be officially launched.
- National Indigenous Languages Report (NILR) to be published.
- Further initiatives to embed Indigenous languages across our organisation and the wider community.
The Australian Government’s participation in and promotion of IYIL2019 was led by the Department of Communications and the Arts.
For more information about IYIL2019 please visit UNESCO.
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