September 17, 2012

Government report on Indigenous languages is out!

I've done quite a few posts here about the national inquiry into Indigenous languages that's been going on for about a year. See here and here, for example.

I'm very excited to say that the final report came out today and it's really good. I was very lucky to receive a preview copy of it last Friday because of my association with the language blog on Crikey. It was a media embargoed copy of the report and I wasn't allowed to disclose its contents until it became public today. (I'm so ready for CSI: Ngukurr... ha!). But getting the preview copy allowed me to write up a piece for Crikey which can be found here (thanks go to Claire, Aidan and others from Fully (sic) and Crikey eds for making my piece much better than it was going to be).

It's been an exciting day. Personally, I was pleased to see my article published on Crikey and that it seems to be pretty well received and read. But that's just my own little smugness. Generally, I'm really excited about the government report and what it might mean for Aboriginal languages and Aboriginal people and the many many people I know who, like me, battle away on working on these languages.

It could mean that organisations like the Ngukurr Language Centre will be better resourced. It could mean the return of proper resourced bilingual education in remote schools. It could simply mean that Aboriginal languages are better and more widely recognised and that I won't have to do so much hard work advocating for why it's worthwhile paying attention to them in the first place!

I'll be keeping track of the media and commentary that the report gets over coming days and weeks. In the meantime, here are some links to other media stories about the report that came out today:

Action needed to help preserve Indigenous languages - The Conversation.
Preserve Indigenous languages: inquiry - NITV news (video)
Indigenous students need bilingual education - ABC online
Call for Indigenous languages in schools - ABC news (video)

Exciting times.

3 comments:

Joelle said...

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-10-01/aboriginal-language-back-from-the-dead/4288840

Joelle said...

You might already be aware but I thought I'd forward this email to you. Cheers, J

Media Release
JENNY MACKLIN MP
Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs
Minister for Disability Reform

Improved accreditation for Indigenous interpreters

The National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI) will receive $286,000 from the Australian Government to improve access to the national accreditation system for Indigenous interpreters.

NAATI is Australia’s only agency responsible for testing and accrediting translators and interpreters.

This funding will be used to develop appropriate testing materials in Indigenous languages where there is a demand for interpreting, focusing on languages spoken in Western Australia, South Australia and Queensland.

This will help more of the 500 Indigenous interpreters in Australia, many of whom are studying to further develop their skills, to gain NAATI accreditation.

NAATI will work with the Indigenous interpreting sector, Indigenous language speakers and linguists to develop the testing material.

This funding builds on a similar project between NAATI and the Northern Territory Aboriginal Interpreter Service, which will increase the number of Northern Territory interpreters with NAATI credentials at all levels, particularly accrediting more interpreters at the professional level.

Interpreters play an important role in overcoming language barriers for Indigenous people with English as a second, third or even fourth language.

Interpreters are trained in professional ethics and confidentiality to assist people with their communication and in the court process.

They help people to receive appropriate care and understand their rights and responsibilities, and make sure voices are heard in the development and delivery of government policies.

We want to ensure that qualified and accredited Indigenous interpreters are available to improve communication between government, service delivery agencies and Indigenous people.

This funding is in addition to the Government’s investment of $427 million over 10 years under the Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory package to improve the way governments and communities work together, including support for the Northern Territory Aboriginal Interpreter Service to recruit, train and mentor interpreters.


Date: 5 October 2012

Media Contact: Gerard Richardson 0417066818

nginarra said...

Thanks Joelle. I hadn't seen that!