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Aboriginal Languages Trust

Supporting NSW Aboriginal communities in the reawakening and growth of Aboriginal languages so they continue to be seen and heard in everyday life.


Giingana Freedom School Opening on Gumbaynggirr Country

The Aboriginal Languages Trust would like to extend a thank you and congratulations to the wonderful mob in Gumbaynggirr Country (Coffs Harbour), where the ALT team spent a few days meeting with community; fortunate to enjoy cultural activities and witness the opening of the Giingana Freedom School. The team also had the opportunity to bring together a number of the ALT Board members for a rare in person Board meeting, plus team planning and to film some exciting content with the team from Amanaki Studios.

The Giingana Freedom School opening is historic for the NSW Aboriginal Community as the first bilingual Aboriginal school in NSW and is going to provide the local community with the platform to ensure language is on the tongues of the next generations and connection to culture continues to be strong and everlasting.

The ALT Team were fortunate to be joined by the Hon Ben Franklin, NSW Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Regional Youth and extends congratulations to ALT Board Member Clarke Webb & the entire team at the Bularri Muurlay Nyanggan - 2 Path Strong Aboriginal Corporation.

Here’s to The ALT proudly supporting and sharing many more of these community good news stories and achievements.

Aboriginal Languages Revival Program

The Aboriginal Languages Trust called for applications for the refreshed and simplified Grants Program to support projects that reawaken, grow, nurture, promote and raise awareness of Aboriginal languages in communities across NSW.

The Aboriginal Languages Revival Program focusses on small, seed funding to reach more communities across the state. This is an open, competitive program for $1,000 to $15,000 for one-off support to Aboriginal community organisations and groups to commence and build on smaller scale revival projects.

What has changed?

The program has been redesigned in response to Community feedback from the 2021 Aboriginal Languages Strategic Plan consultations, with over 400 people (80% Aboriginal) consulted across New South Wales.

Community advised that the Grants process was too complex, we have listened and actioned to ensure the Program is as accessible as possible for community.

Grants applications are generally written. We have given applicants the option for Community to answer some questions using audio or video recordings. We have created a more flexible grants application process which is what Community requested.

The Trust recognises Communities are at different stages of their Language Revival journeys. We want you to know, the Trust is here to support applicants.

Our aim is to remove obstacles for Community and make grants a more user-friendly experience.

Applications have now closed, many thanks to those who have applied. For more information, email grants@alt.nsw.gov.au


Aboriginal Languages Trust

The Aboriginal Languages Trust is an Aboriginal-led NSW Government Agency. The Trust was established under the NSW Aboriginal Languages Act 2017 to provide a focused, coordinated, and sustained effort in relation to Aboriginal languages activities at local, regional and State levels.

The functions of the Trust are defined in the Act. They include:

  • promoting language activity
  • identifying priorities for language activity
  • managing the funding of, and investment in language activity
  • promoting education and employment opportunities in language activities
  • promoting the wider use and appreciation of Aboriginal languages

The Trust will also work with other Government agencies to provide advice and guidance on Aboriginal languages, and with the Geographical Names Board on the use of Aboriginal languages in the naming of geographical places in NSW.

The Trust is also responsible for preparing a five-year strategic plan for the growth and nurturing of Aboriginal Languages. The plan is to be submitted to the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs by March 2022.

Aboriginal Languages Trust Board

The affairs of the Trust are managed by the Aboriginal Languages Trust Board. Following an extensive recruitment process, the inaugural Aboriginal Languages Trust Board commenced their five year term on 9 March 2020. The appointments were made with consideration given to having a diverse array of skillsets, experience and representation from different language groups across NSW.

The Board members are:

  • Mr Jason Behrendt (Chairperson)
  • Ms Catherine Trindall (Deputy Chair)
  • Prof Lindon Coombes
  • Ms Patricia Ellis
  • Mr Raymond Ingrey
  • Ms Fiona Kelly
  • Dr Raymond Kelly
  • Dr Lynette Riley
  • Mr Clark Webb

Collectively, the Board members bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to draw on to the work of the Trust.

For further information about the Trust, please email info@alt.nsw.gov.au.

NSW Aboriginal Languages Legislation

The NSW Aboriginal Languages Act 2017 became law on 24 October 2017 and is the first legislation in Australia to acknowledge the significance of First Languages. The Act commenced on 5 March 2020.

Aboriginal languages are important to NSW First Peoples and all people in NSW. We want Aboriginal languages to be spoken by future generations of First Peoples.

The Aboriginal Languages Act 2017 seeks to promote, reawaken, nurture and grow Aboriginal languages across NSW. Aboriginal languages strengthen connections with culture and identity and improves the wellbeing of First Peoples.

The Aboriginal Languages Act 2017 has three parts:

  • A preamble which acknowledges the importance of Aboriginal languages and the importance of reawakening, nurturing and growing Aboriginal languages and Aboriginal custodianship of languages.
  • Establishment of an Aboriginal Languages Trust to resource local language activities (amongst other functions).
  • A 5-year Strategic Plan to guide investment and activities in language revival in NSW.

Aboriginal Languages Act


Independent Facilitator's Report on Round One Consultations

Discussion Paper

Get involved and stay connected

There’s exciting progress being made within the NSW Aboriginal Languages space. Join our mailing list to stay across all the action or email us for further enquiries.

A fully activated website and social media pages are all coming soon!

Contact: info@alt.nsw.gov.au