Language of the First Tribes

During the 1800s Aboriginal peoples across NSW bore the brunt of European invasion, and their languages were an early casualty, with the active suppression of languages and the emergence of English as a common language between the different language groups.

 

MEDIA RELEASE

29 April, 2011
Embargo: 11.30 am (Canberra time)
50/2011

Speaking an Indigenous language linked to youth wellbeing

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth in remote areas who speak an Indigenous language are less likely to experience risk factors associated with poor wellbeing, according to a report released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The report found that in 2008, almost half (47%) of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth (aged 15–24 years) in remote areas spoke an Indigenous language. These young people were less likely to engage in high risk alcohol consumption and illicit substance use, than those who did not speak an Indigenous language. They were also less likely to report being a victim of physical violence.

However, the report also showed that there has been a decline in the proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth who can speak an Indigenous language. In 2008, 13% of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth could speak an Indigenous language, down from 18% in 2002.

Despite this decrease in Indigenous language skills, 21% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children aged 3–14 years who did not speak an Indigenous language at home were learning one. About one in three (31%) children aged 3–14 years also spent time with an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander elder at least once a week.

In addition, the report found that youth who had been discriminated against because of their Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origins were less likely to have some characteristics associated with positive wellbeing.

In 2008, one-quarter (26%) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth reported having experienced discrimination in the past 12 months because of their origins. These youth were less likely to be employed, studying full-time or able to get support outside of their households than those who had not experienced discrimination. They were also more likely to have experienced high or very high levels of psychological distress compared with their peers who did not experience discrimination.

More details on these and other topics are available in the April release of the report Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Wellbeing: A focus on children and youth (cat.no. 4725.0). Additional analyses of the children and youth data will be available later in 2011.

Media notes:
Psychological distress is measured using a modified version of the Kessler Psychological Distress Scale. High scores indicate that feelings of anxiety or depression may be being experienced on a regular basis, whereas a low score indicates these feelings are experienced less frequently or not at all.
When reporting on ABS data the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or ABS) must be attributed as the source.
This page last updated 28 April 2011

Source:http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Latestproducts/4725.0Media%20Release1Apr%202011?opendocument&tabname=Summary&prodno=4725.0&issue=Apr%202011&num=&view=

 

Save our languages (please read and action)
Published date : 10-11-2008
Indigenous Languages Petition
TO THE HONOURABLE SPEAKER,MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVESThis petition of citizens from Australia and overseas both Indigenous and Non-Indigenous draws to the attention of the House that we are alarmed at the rate of unchecked language loss in Australia. Over 250 vigorous and vibrant languages on record at the time of European arrival in Australia have been reduced to just 17 which are being transmitted naturally to younger members of their communities. Some other languages are still spoken fluently but the vast majority are in varying states of decline and disrepair. There are also vigorous efforts across the country to maintain and revive languages, in some cases to re-introduce them after many decades of non-use.In the debate and activity addressing indigenous disadvantage indigenous languages have been overlooked. Language should be seen as a pathway to education, to healthier and wealthier communities, not as a separate subordinate issue.We therefore ask the House to develop a National Indigenous Languages Policy and a National Indigenous Languages Institute in order to strategically and coherently support the:
Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages (including creoles and Aboriginal Englishes)
Documentation and development of Indigenous Languages
Development of programs at all levels of Education
Development of numeracy and literacy targets in Indigenous Languages
Provision of interpreting and translation services (and training interpreters)
Expansion of employment options that recognise and utilise language knowledge and skills
Development of measures to increase the use of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages in the public domain (including music industry, TV, radio, press, public art and signage).

Signed:
Name:
Date:

PRINCIPAL PETITIONERName: Paul Herbert (Federation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Languages)To post or fax your vote print this form and post or fax to:Address: 295 King Street Melbourne VICPostcode: 3000Email: admin@fatsil.org.au Telephone: 03 9602 4700Fax: 03 9602 4770

To vote online click button.http://www.fatsil.org.au/component/option,com_joomlapetition/Itemid,/catid,1/func,viewcategory/ If You Have Any Problems Signing the Petition1) The Security-Code May Not Display. Please Try Again.2) There May Be A Typo In Your Email Address OR Security Code. Please Try Again.3) Don’t Receive A Confirmation Email? Please Check Your Junk Mail. If Still Nothing, Please Try Again.4) Anything Else? Please Email Us at: info@fatsil.org.au

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