The Maintenance of Indigenous Languages and Records (MILR) Program aims to address the steady erosion and loss of Australia’s estimated 250 original Indigenous languages by providing funding support for the maintenance and revival of these languages.
The emphasis of the Program is on supporting community based projects by language groups, language research, and the development and coordination of language resources.
The Program underpins the Australian Government’s National Indigenous Languages Policy, which backs a strategic, whole-of-government approach among the bodies involved in support for Indigenous languages.
Many of the projects supported seek to record and document the last remaining speakers of a language so that it can be retained and passed on to future generations. The range of projects funded includes the operation of language centres, transmission of language from generation to generation, production of language materials and resources, recording of languages, development of databases and coordination between language organisations. The MILR Program also supports a number of key national pilot projects to build on emerging trends and develop and test new language initiatives.
The demand for MILR funding in the 2010-11 funding round was very competitive; with 130 applications seeking over $22.304 million in funding. $7.9 million has been allocated to support 63 projects. Six applicants were granted triennial funding.
Projects receiving funding have been assessed in accordance with the MILR Program guidelines.
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- Peter Garrett, Minister for Environment Protection, Heritage and the Arts
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