Investing in languages studies in Australia

Release Date: 
2 August 2019
Media release

More Australians will get the chance to learn a language other than English under the Morrison Government’s $2.18 million language package.

The Government will:

  • Develop a national languages strategy to support language teaching and learning in Australia;
  • Support the development of Indigenous language teachers and the teaching of Indigenous languages;
  • Provide $1 million to Community Languages Australia to continue its coordination role across Australia’s 1,400 Community Languages Schools.

Minister for Education Dan Tehan said 2019 was the UNESCO International Year of Indigenous Languages.

"The International Year of Indigenous Languages is an opportunity to raise awareness and take further actions to improve the preservation and promotion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages," Mr Tehan said.

"Our Government is investing in Indigenous language because we understand the important role language plays for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and identity.

"Learning a traditional language can give Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people a sense of belonging so our Government is supporting Indigenous Language teachers to keep these unique languages alive.

"We also need to encourage more students to study a second language. The development of a national strategy will include collecting data on the teaching of language in our schools and investigating the teaching materials being used.

"We’re supporting Community Languages Schools to continue their work supporting cultural diversity by providing mother tongue language teaching and cultural maintenance programs.

"Our Government is keeping Australians together by celebrating our diversity and encouraging Australians to explore the languages of other cultures."

Minister for Indigenous Australians Hon Ken Wyatt AM, MP said: "Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages are essential to the cultural life and identity of Indigenous Australians and to our national identity.

"Language plays an integral role in how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people participate in and maintain the strength of communities, and in maintaining and transmitting their cultural heritage," Minister Wyatt said.