Safeguarding Indigenous languages and arts

The Albanese Labor Government will boost support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to express, preserve and maintain their cultures through languages and the arts.

More than $57 million will be shared by 84 community-based activities over the next three years under the Government’s Indigenous Languages and Arts program.

This program provides support for vital language services to communities and empowers Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to strengthen Indigenous languages in their communities across Australia.

Minister for Indigenous Australians, Linda Burney, said Indigenous languages and arts are integral to maintaining the vitality, identity and emotional health of First Nations communities.

“Speaking languages and embracing artistic expression empowers Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to connect to Country and community which is crucial for our being,” Minister Burney said.

“Australia is home to the world’s oldest continuous cultures and that needs to be preserved for future generations as strong, supported and flourishing.

“The Indigenous Languages and Arts program is a stepping stone to achieving exactly that and I’m pleased to see a wide geographic spread of organisations and communities across regional, remote and urban Australia benefitting from this investment.”

Minister for the Arts, Tony Burke, said the funding recognises the important role language and art plays in telling stories, maintaining and sharing culture, and promoting connection to Country.

“Cultural expression is the heartbeat of First Nations communities,” Minister Burke said.

“That’s why the Albanese Government is committed to investing in the preservation of Indigenous languages and arts for current and future generations.

“Language and culture is also central to making meaningful progress against Closing the Gap targets.”

The funding includes:

  • Over $41 million shared between First Languages Australia and the network of 23 Indigenous languages centres located throughout the country.
  • Over $6 million towards eight activities that bring stories to life and preserve culture.
  • Over $4.8 million to support seven organisations to deliver targeted language teaching and learning activities.
  • Over $4.5 million towards 44 Indigenous languages and arts activities, including cultural performances, establishing digital languages databases, and community workshops.

This program makes an important contribution towards achieving outcomes under the National Agreement on Closing the Gap – particularly Target 16 for a sustained increase in the number and strength of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages being spoken by 2031.

For more information on the Indigenous Languages and Arts program, visit:

For more information on the National Agreement on Closing the Gap, visit: Closing the Gap | National Indigenous Australians Agency (