Indigenous languages play a critical role in cultural identity, linking people to their land and water and in the transmission of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, spirituality and rites, through story and song.
Some 250 distinct Indigenous language groups covered the continent at first (significant) European contact in the late eighteenth century. Most of these languages would have had several dialects, so that the total number of named varieties would have reached many hundreds.
Today only around 120 of those languages are still spoken and many are at risk of being lost as Elders pass on. National NAIDOC Committee Co-Chair Anne Martin said languages are the breath of life for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the theme will raise awareness of the status and importance of Indigenous languages across the country.
We invite you to join us at your local Westfield to celebrate NAIDOC Week 2017.
Click below to explore local NAIDOC Week events at your Westfield centre.