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2022 Language Policy Symposium

Strengthening Australian languages: between policy and practice

This symposium brought together Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander language workers at AIATSIS to talk about their experiences in revitalising and strengthening language in their communities.

The symposium provided language workers with the opportunity to share their knowledge and experience with each other, with academics, and with government policy makers. The symposium was successful in strengthening the relationships between communities across Australia and the Torres Strait and provided these language workers with the opportunity to communicate directly with those developing the policies that will impact their communities.

AIATSIS is pleased to have been able to provide an opportunity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to share their stories of the vital language work being done by their communities and to enable their voices to be heard by government policy makers.

This event has now concluded.


Read the report on the event here

Melanie Rarrtjiwuy Herdman

Mabo Room
Maraga (AIATSIS building)
51 Lawson Crescent, Acton ACT 2601

This two-day event hosted the following presentations:


  • National Indigenous Languages Strategy and Policy

    AIATSIS CEO Craig Ritchie gave an overview of the initiatives we are undertaking in the language space and proposed potential elements for a future national Indigenous languages strategy.

  • Top End Languages Forum

    Melanie Herdman, Pirrawayingi Puruntatameri and Jenny Manmurulu talk about the Top End languages forum they held to discuss views on language and create a Strong Languages 2032 statement. 

  • Reigniting Dharug

    Jasmine Seymour and Corina Norman discuss their work with the Dharug language.

  • Supporting multilingual communities: contact languages and traditional languages

    Marmingee Hand discusses her work to support learning language in the classroom and on Country.

  • Supporting multilingual communities: contact languages and traditional languages

    Josie Lardy discusses her language work with Jilkminggan community.

  • Supporting multilingual communities: contact languages and traditional languages

    Juanita Sellwood discusses her language work in the Torres Strait Islands.

  • What's happening with Gumbaynggirr language

    Michael Jarret presents an update on the Gumbaynggirr language and the work done by Muurrbay Aboriginal Language and Culture Co-operative.

  • Yäku ga Rirrakay

    Yalmay Yunupiŋu, Natasha Yunupiŋu, Bamuruŋu Mununggurr and Jill Wigglesworth provide an overview on the Yäku ga Rirrakay app and how they utilise this to teach language in the classroom.

  • Launch and discussion of OECD report: Common Ground Diverse Pathways: Learning (in) Indigenous Languages

    Denise Angelo and Jane Simpson review work done with the OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) and findings from the working paper Promising Practices - Supporting Success for Indigenous Students in Aotearoa New Zealand, Australia and Canada.

  • Working in partnership to deliver Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages policy reform

    Pauline Halchuk described the work that the Office of The Arts is currently doing to deliver languages policy reform.


Last updated: 20 May 2024