Why is this important?
Prior to colonisation there were approximately 40 Aboriginal languages spoken in Victoria.
For Aboriginal people today, the use, recording, revival and research of Aboriginal languages is an important way of recognising their culture and the journey towards reconciliation.
The use of Aboriginal language in the naming and signage of local places and landmarks can reinforce shared histories and build awareness of Aboriginal people. It helps to strengthen links between local government and Aboriginal people by building a welcoming environment for Aboriginal people.
What can your Council do?
Councils can promote Aboriginal languages in a number of ways:
- Work with Traditional Owners and local Aboriginal communities to identify opportunities in which Aboriginal language can be recognised locally. This may include signage that reflects Aboriginal histories, cultural knowledge and traditions.
- Ensure guidelines, including consultation with Aboriginal communities, are followed for formally naming geographic features with traditional Aboriginal names (Read more about guidelines of naming places or download Naming rules for places in Victoria 2016).
- The Victorian Aboriginal Corporation for Languages (VACL) is actively involved in promoting and reviving Victoria’s Aboriginal languages. VACL can work with local governments and Aboriginal communities around naming and use of language in signage. Visit: www.vaclang.org.au.
Some helpful resources
Mother Tongue: ABC site presenting First language stories from Victorian Aboriginal communities
This course is designed for Aboriginal people who want to learn their language so they can teach others in their community and in schools and early childhood settings.
Students who complete this course will gain a formal qualification in Aboriginal languages.
To find out more or submit an expression of interest email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0438 071 799.
Last Updated: January 16, 2020 at 3:33 pm