2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages

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

Happy International Year of Indigenous Languages!

In 2019 the world celebrates the International Year of Indigenous Languages (IYIL2019).

In 2016 the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues reported that 40 per cent of the estimated 6,700 languages spoken around the world were in danger of disappearing, with the majority of these being indigenous languages, putting the cultures and knowledge systems to which they belong at risk.

IYIL2019 is an opportunity for all Australians to engage in a national conversation about Indigenous languages. AIATSIS will have a range of activities throughout the year to celebrate and recognise the diversity of Australian Indigenous languages and their importance in supporting cultural resurgence and shaping our national identity.

The Department of Communications and the Arts (DoCA) is the lead agency for planning the Australian Government’s participation in and promotion of IYIL2019.

  • You can find more information about Australian Government initiatives for the year on the DoCA website.

You can also join the conversation online using #IYIL2019 and #IndigenousLanguages.


IYIL 2019 Calendar (stay tuned for more!)

Date Event
28 January Official Global Launch Event of IYIL2019
21 February International Mother Language Day
9 April IYIL 50c coin launch with the Royal Australian Mint
29 April - 5 May Children's Book Week
2 September Paper and Talk (Breath of Life Institute Pilot)
4 September Indigenous Literacy Day
8 September World Literacy Day
Last reviewed: 11 Apr 2019