The United Nations has declared this year the International Year of Indigenous Languages (IY2019) to raise awareness of the crucial role languages play.
Yet, here in Australia, only about 120 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages are still spoken from an estimated original 250 languages. Of these, approximately 90 per cent are considered endangered.
By promoting and celebrating local communities’ stories in print and email newsletters, on the website and in social media we can keep words alive. There’s an important need to focus on positive news and showcase success stories. Don’t forget to use imagery that is culturally diverse (and includes sensitive statements where appropriate).
Important Dates for Indigenous People
Here is has a handy calendar of events for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. Don’t forget to add any days that might have local significance. You might like to create content for your social media on the following days in 2020:
- 13th February – National Apology Day
- 21st March – National Close the Gap Day: https://www.antar.org.au/close-gap
- 21st March – Harmony Week – https://www.harmony.gov.au/about
- 26th April – National Sorry Day – https://www.reconciliation.org.au/national-sorry-day-an-important-part-of-healing/
- 27th May to 3 June – National Reconciliation Week- https://www.reconciliation.org.au/national-reconciliation-week/
- 3rd June – Mabo Day
- 7th to 14th July – National NAIDOC Week – https://www.naidoc.org.au/
- 10th July – National Indigenous Music Awards – https://nima.musicnt.com.au/
- 4th August – National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day – https://aboriginalchildrensday.com.au/
- 9th August – International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples: https://www.un.org/en/events/indigenousday/
- 23-25 August – Freedom Day Festival – one of the most unique and remote festival experiences Australia has to offer. Held on Gurindji country, the birthplace of Aboriginal Land Rights, people from all walks of life make the pilgrimage every August to celebrate in the spirit of unity and pride. http://www.freedomday.com.au/
- 4th September – Indigenous Literacy Day: https://www.indigenousliteracyfoundation.org.au/
- September – Deadly Awards – Since September 1995, Vibe Australia has hosted the Deadly Sounds Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Music, Sport, Entertainment and Community Awards — the Deadlys. These awards promote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander achievement as a marketable and growing force within Australia. The Deadlys provide a tangible forum where the wider community can learn about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander music and culture. https://deadlys.com.au/
With 3% of the Australian population identifying as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, let’s celebrate and embrace this valuable part of the country that we share.
*Dates may slightly change from year to year.