Language is the expression of our culture and our land. We cannot have one without the others. We cannot describe our culture and our land if we do not have language.
(Queensland Indigenous Languages Advisory Committee, 2006 )
Recognition of Indigenous languages and support for Indigenous language programs stand alongside land rights, health, justice, education, housing, employment and other services as part of the overall process of pursuing social justice and reconciliation in Australia.
The population of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities is extremely diverse in its culture with many different languages spoken. Think of the Kimberly region of Western Australia … if you travel through the Kimberly with its large Aboriginal population and the diversity of people within this region, it’s just like travelling through Europe with its changing cultures and languages.
(Dot West, National Indigenous Media Association of Australia, Boyer Lectures 1993)