why is this important?
There are more than 40 Aboriginal Language groups across Victoria. Language is a part of culture and is an expression of identity, connection to Country and self-determination. When First Peoples use and speak Language, they are maintaining an ancient connection spanning thousands of years, keeping words alive that were once spoken by their Ancestors. The use, protection, preservation and revival of Aboriginal Languages are important acts of truth-telling and reconciliation.
One of the many impacts of colonisation was the attempted erasure of Aboriginal Languages. First Peoples were denied the right to learn and use Language and were forced to learn and speak English, therefore limiting their connection to culture. The use of Aboriginal Languages by local councils can reinforce shared histories and build awareness of First Peoples. It helps to strengthen links between local government and First Peoples by building a welcoming and culturally safe environment for First Peoples.