Monday, 15 April 2019



The United Nations reported in 2016 that of the estimated 6,700 languages that are spoken around the world, 2,680 of those are in danger of disappearing. In Australia, only 120 of the 250 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages are still spoken.

The 2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages (IY2019) is therefore an opportunity to raise awareness of the need to preserve and promote Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages. As stated on the IY2019 website, 'Languages play a crucial role in the daily lives of people, not only as a tool for communication, education, social integration and development, but also as a repository for each person's unique identity, cultural history, traditions and memory.'

Northern Beaches Libraries would like to get involved in the actions being taken to raise awareness of the value of Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages. We have compiled the list below of valuable resources that will help you understand more about the unique Indigenous languages;

  • CALL Collection - an archive of Australia's First Nation language materials.
  • AIATSIS Language Map - an interactive language map showing not only how many Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages exist, but where they are spoken. 
  • Filling a Void: history of the word 'Guringai' - A report from the Aboriginal Heritage Office website that focuses on the origin, validity and use of 'Guringai'.

We also have many items in our collection that are rich in information about Indigenous Languages. Head over to our catalogue to take a look.