Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Protecting language and culture in the APY Lands

The Australian Government is investing $186,000 to help children in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands learn more about their culture and language, protecting it for future generations.

The Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin, said the funding will allow the local Amata and Mimili communities to participate in the second stage of the APY Lands Children’s Inma project, which teaches language and culture through traditional song and dance.

“This project was developed by local Anangu women, with older women teaching traditional stories to more than 550 students across the APY Lands,” Ms Macklin said.

“Elders have a terrific knowledge of language and culture, and it’s so important that they are able to keep local children connected to their Anangu culture.

“The Children’s Inma project is helping schools in the region hold performances with cultural songs, storytelling, traditional dance and music, and giving children the opportunity to travel with elders and teachers for cultural camps in homelands.

“This new funding will allow these communities to develop a package of literacy and cultural learning tools including DVDs, CDs and books, to be used in classrooms across the APY Lands.”

Funding for the Children’s Inma project is part of the Australian Government’s Indigenous Remote Service Delivery Special Account.

The Government has invested $46 million over three years through the Indigenous Remote Service Delivery Special Account for high-priority projects in remote communities, focusing on projects identified by communities as part of their Local Implementation Plans.

Local projects include funding for a new arts centre in Mimili, as well as a language preservation project for the Yankunytjatjara people.

These projects build on the Australian Government’s unprecedented investment to close the gap on Indigenous disadvantage.