The Australian Federal Government is planning to rename many of its current Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the official language.
Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander Minister of Indigenous Affairs Nigel Scullion said the move would “reaffirm that Australia is one nation” with a distinct language.
“The Prime Minister is keen to do this because there are a number of Aboriginal and other languages that are not spoken or spoken in Australia and are not recognised as official languages,” Mr Scullions office said in a statement.
“Aborige and Torres will be listed alongside the other languages and official languages of Australia.”‘
A great step forward’The announcement is a huge step forward for Indigenous Australians.
It means Indigenous Australians can no longer be discriminated against when they speak their own language.”[We] have been discriminated against, we have been denied services, we are denied a place to live and to work and we are not even recognised as a people in Australia,” Aboriginal and Tasmanian language advocate and lecturer Dr Rebecca Dank said.
“These changes will be welcomed by Aboriginal and minority language Australians as they will no longer face discrimination in their communities.”
The change will be rolled out across the country over the next year.
Mr Scullison said the Government would also “recognise and promote the languages of the Aboriginal and non-Aborigen communities, including English, French and Tagalog”.
“I want to stress that this is not about changing the language of our communities, but recognising and promoting them as part of our community,” he said.
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