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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.


Online YarnUp with the Aboriginal Languages Trust

The Aboriginal Languages Trust invites Aboriginal community members to participate in a series of online yarning sessions about language revitalisation in NSW. We’re asking our communities to help guide and inform the work of the Trust.

Our Strategic Plan will set the work to be carried out for communities over the next five years. We invite community members from each region to come, share and tell us how we can support your language aspirations.

Registration has now closed.

YarnUp focus regions and dates are:

  • North Coast - 10:00am-11:10am AEDT Wednesday, 13 October
  • Hunter Central Coast - 10:00am-11:10am AEDT Thursday, 14 October
  • Greater Sydney - 10:00am-11:10am AEDT Friday, 15 October
  • New England North West - 10:00am-11:10am AEDT Monday, 18 October
  • llawarra South East - 10:00am-11:10am AEDT Wednesday, 20 October
  • Binaal Billa Central West - 10:00am-11:10am AEDT Thursday, 21 October
  • Murdi Paaki - 10:00am-11:10am AEDT Friday, 22 October

Unsure of your region? Check the Map of regions:


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