MS TIERNEY (Western Victoria—Minister for Training and Skills, Minister for Higher Education) (15:11): I am pleased to update the chamber on the work underway to revive Aboriginal languages across Victoria. Preserving and reviving Aboriginal languages should be core business for any government. We cannot change the past, but we can work hard to right the wrongs. That is why we are supporting certificate IV in teaching an endangered Aboriginal language. It has been the culmination of a lot of work with organisations like the Victorian Aboriginal Education Association Incorporated over a number of years. There is now a new team of nine specialist teachers to help revive Aboriginal languages on country and in classrooms across the state. One of the graduates is Corrina Eccles. Corinna now teaches Wadawurrung at Moolap Primary School. She is a strong advocate for connectedness of language to people, place and country, and I am so glad that by supporting certificate IV we have people like Corrina in classrooms teaching their language and their culture. And I am proud that this year’s budget included funding to continue offering courses in Aboriginal languages. Next year the new certificate II and certificate III in learning an Australian First Nations language will be available at TAFE. These are important precursor courses to the certificate IV. They will be critical to expanding the number of experts available to teach First Nations languages across the state. Importantly, every person that goes through these courses means another step forward to revitalising Aboriginal languages, and that means more Victorians learning Aboriginal languages. Understanding and celebrating Aboriginal culture is so important as we work towards treaty.
Tags: Ministers Statements