2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages

Date: 
Tuesday, 1 January 2019 to Tuesday, 31 December 2019

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 

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.

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.

#IYIL #IYIL2019 #IndigenousLanguages


AIATSIS IYIL2019 Calendar 

Date Event
28 January Official Global Launch Event of IYIL2019
February Spotify playlist launched - Songs in Language: The Australian Indigenous Languages Playlist
21 February International Mother Language Day
8 March International Women's Day campaign featuring Laurie Baymarrwaŋa language work
9 April Launch of Year of Indigenous Languages commemorative coin in conjunction with the Royal Australian Mint
25 April ANZAC Day Odes in language on social media
29 April - 5 May Children's Book Week
30 April Launch of Year of Indigenous Languages commemorative stamp in conjunction with Australia Post
30 April Australia post blog with CEO Craig Ritchie about Indigenous languages
7 May Celebrating IYIL window decals installed on AIATSIS building
2 July Ngarinyman Dictionary Launch
2 July IYIL Public Lecture with Daniel Browning
9 July Official launch of Welcome to Country (Ngunnawal language) audio recording at Canberra International Airport
13 July State Library of NSW exhibition - Living Language: Country, Culture, Community
2 September Paper and Talk (Breath of Life Institute Pilot)
4 September Indigenous Literacy Day
8 September World Literacy Day
13 September

AIATSIS IYIL Exhibition - Our Language: Keeping us Strong

Last reviewed: 8 Jan 2020