National Reconciliation Week (NRW) is a time for all Australians to learn about Australia’s shared history and culture. This year marks 20 years of Reconciliation Australia and almost 30 years of Australia’s formal reconciliation process. This year’s theme, ‘More than a word. Reconciliation takes action’ really seeks a collaborative approach to build relationships and communities that value Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, histories, cultures, and futures.
As Australia’s leading language service provider, we’re always looking at ways to connect people through language so they can live life without limits and access services they need. Australian Indigenous languages represent cultural identity, development and reconciliation.
At the time of European settlement in 1788 it is estimated that there were between 200 and 300 distinct Indigenous Australian languages, including 800 dialectal varieties, spoken on the continent. Today it is estimated to be only 120 first languages currently spoken, with many of these now in high risk of being lost forever. At LanguageLoop, we are helping to keep these languages alive by providing Indigenous language services.
In addition to this, we have updated our Acknowledgement of Country translation list from 20 to 32 of Victoria’s most common languages. These additional languages enable even more multilingual Australians to acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay respect to Australia’s elders past and present.
We are continuously building relationships, respect and trust between the wider Australian community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Reconciliation week is a great motivator to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia.
Header image source: National Reconciliation Week