Leader holds fears for Nyoongar language

Ngardarrep Kiitj chairman Joe Collard visited the Comment News on the eve of the fifth National Apology Day on February 13.

This marked the anniversary of the 2008 day that then-Prime Minister Kevin Rudd apologised to indigenous Australians, particularly the Stolen Generation, for past wrongs.

Mr Collard said more than symbolic gestures were needed to stop the Nyoongar language’s extinction, and that indigenous affairs were absent from the State election campaigns of both main parties.

‘Every two weeks a language disappears in the world and more than 90 per cent of Aboriginal languages are now extinct,’ he said.

‘We can’t move forward without access to land and culture.

‘You show me anywhere in Perth you can get a real Aboriginal cultural experience.’

His association is searching for funding to advocate for its goals: to archive its cultural records; create accredited Aboriginal language courses; and for a Nyoongar language and cultural centre to be built in Perth.

Australia’s House of Representatives marked the anniversary by passing an Act of Recognition as a step towards a referendum for Constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The Act included a two-year sunset date to keep Reconciliation Australia’s change campaign focused on this goal.

Show support by visiting www.recognise.org.au