International Day of World's Indigenous Peoples

Release Date: 
9 August 2019
Media release

Australia is home to the world’s oldest continuous culture and on the United Nations’ International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples, Minister for Indigenous Australians, the Hon Ken Wyatt AM MP, said that all Australians should be proud of the role Indigenous culture continues to play in our nation.

“Australia is enriched by having such vibrant Indigenous communities that are making a significant contribution to Australia’s economic, social and cultural life,” Minister Wyatt said.

“This year’s theme is Indigenous Language, aligned with the International Year of Indigenous Languages. The United Nations invites us to focus on the important role language plays in our society and the very real risk of losing our languages.”

“It is incumbent on all of us to take action to preserve and promote Indigenous languages. The UN estimates that half of the world’s languages will become extinct in the next 80 years.”

“The Morrison Government is using innovative ways to capture and rejuvenate Indigenous languages for future generations. This will ensure Indigenous people continue to use their mother-tongue and we maintain this carrier of culture.”

“I encourage everyone to engage with the day and take practical steps such as learning about the cultural history where you live or by learning a few simple words of your local Indigenous language.”

“We have a rich tapestry of Indigenous peoples across Australia and days like today are a catalyst to have conversations throughout the year about what we can do to honour and respect Indigenous culture.”

The Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) is Australia’s premier educational institution promoting knowledge and understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and traditions: