Aboriginal Language Research Paper

This paper will discuss the importance of restoring and protecting Aboriginal language. Then, I would like to discuss the examples of how we as Australians can be educated in helping restore and protect Indigenous Australian’s language and this would strongly be done through government policies that can be put into place. Our culture moulds our identity. Our identity is reflected in our communication, which utilizes language. Therefore, language and culture are tied together, which is why we need to protect and restore the Aboriginal Language.

The issue in today’s society, the lack of awareness and education there is in how to restore and protect the Aboriginal people’s language. The Government is strong in pushing to promote how we can do this and act on showing awareness to the people of Australia, however it is sad to see that still majority of people in Australia aren’t aware of this situation and issue. Therefore, the issue exists in Australia due to the lack of awareness people have in keeping the language alive.

There were no policies put in place until recent years, as the Australian government has been trying to protect and revitalise the languages. The cause of this issue was due to the indigenous decolonisation that happened when Europeans invaded Australia. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders have been oppressed into a world that is unnatural to them and their culture for thousands of years. This has led to the issues of many Aboriginal people today in modern society such as, loss of culture, land and language, which is a sense of who they are and where they came from.

It is an issue for not only Indigenous people but for the whole of Australia it is part of the Australian history and heritage. The New South Wales Government has revealed plans to legislate the protection and to save Aboriginal Languages. According to Aboriginal Affairs Minister Leslie Williams, she has mentioned that “Indigenous languages were a unique and valuable part of our heritage, and legislation could benefit the community” (Kervin 2016). She also mentions how “if legislation can so effectively take away Aboriginal language, so too it can restore and revive Aboriginal languages” (Kervin 2016).

Legislation is good for their community and for their identities, it will empower their communities and individuals. The issue should be addressed as we as social workers are trying to promote awareness and change in the world to acknowledge what the issue was and to help raise awareness into the community to help bring back the Aboriginal people’s culture, language as language is very important to anyone and everyone, so helping people be aware of that is very vital as it is a sense of who they are and where they come from.

Wiradjuri woman Lynette Riley has mentioned how “it gives power to Aboriginal communities to do the programs that they’ve always wanted and it acknowledges that Aboriginal languages have always been here and that they now take their rightful place as Australian languages” (Kervin 2016). Legislation would bring many benefits as it is not only learning, speaking and writing their language it is about instilling their cultural values into young people.

This has helped many young people turn their lives around as they have found a role in their lives that they can achieve in. There are many option in restoring and protecting the Aboriginal Languages by bringing in legislation it can help build programs around the legislation that can help protect and restore. An example of this is the Coalition has mentioned that they are committing ten million to protect, preserve, and celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Languages as it is part of the living history of Australia’s shared history.

This can help with the funding for schools to run programs that could educate young children of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander decent to help them show the sense of their identity and show their culture, values and beliefs that can help them at a young age be able to have a sense of their own identity. This can lead to positive up bringing as it will empower them at a young age and to also spread their culture and identity.

Technology has certainly played a vital part in the survival and revival of language, as the Government said they will work with Indigenous organisations and groups on how to identify which is best that will digitally capture languages while also respecting cultural sensitives. This also includes in funding for local languages through signage for name of places and landmarks (Liberal Party of Australia 2017). I would recommend that raising awareness and educating is a huge part in this, as a social worker I would be able to help rally for protection and restoration of the Aboriginal people’s languages.

Helping set up programs that can benefit and empower Aboriginal people to be educated with their language and culture to discover how beautiful their culture is and how wonderful their values and beliefs can help them in their everyday lives and pass it on to younger generations. I believe that without doing this it wouldn’t help Aboriginal people restore and revive their languages it would be lost as years go by and not many people who are of Aboriginal decent can learn later if the issue is not addressed as soon as possible, it is sort of a race against time.

This is due to elders getting old, who will teach the younger generations their culture and their language. It should start now as people need to be aware of this as Aboriginal language and culture is a huge part of Australia’s history and this needs to be protected this could influence social change on how people view and see Aboriginal people and be interested in their language and culture instead of stereotyping. This can also lead to political legislations being put into place to help bring the Aboriginal culture up and can change Aboriginal people’s lives especially the young people who are the future of Australia.