A constant on that list is the neglectful treatment of Aboriginal languages and failure of so many to value the amazing linguistic diversity found in the Northern Territory, which has been diminishing unabated for decades now. Official language policy in the NT fits nicely within what gets described as a 'Laissez-faire policy' where Aboriginal languages aren't explicitly denigrated, just forgotten about and left to wither:
Laissez-faire policies mean that the languages of power and prestige will eventually take over in all situations of contact. Benign neglect …[is] always de facto support for the language of the group that is already dominant. - Wright (2004: 187). Quoted in Sallabank Julia & Austin Peter K., Cambridge Handbook of Endangered Languages, 2011.For a language to have a good chance of survival, more needs to happen than just having it spoken at home and learned by kids as a mother tongue. Healthy languages are found in many more domains than that. They're used in the marketplace and in commerce. They're used in artistic expression. They're used in schools as a tool of education (hence I keep banging on about the importance of bilingual education). They're used in various levels of government, maybe in courts too.
Another crucial domain is media. Which is why I am absolutely over-the-moon to learn today that the ABC is trialling the provision of a news service in two NT languages: Warlpiri and Yolŋu Matha (or more specifically, Djambarrpuyŋu). All of a sudden, I have something to be very proud of on Territory Day! Good on the ABC for this initiative and also to the NT Government's Aboriginal Interpreter Services for getting the language content together.
Symbolically, this means a lot for the status and vitality of these languages. Communicatively, I really hope the reports find an audience and result in better dissemination of news. There are several thousand speakers of both Warlpiri and Djambarrpuyŋu, spread across a number of decent-sized remote communities. I note that the ABC is encouraging localised remote broadcasters to rebroadcast the reports and I hope they do. I wish the ABC and all involved good luck with the venture. The gesture and effort is already greatly appreciated by this renewedly-proud Territorian!