Labor's Plan to Teach First Nations Languages in Schools

An Albanese Labor Government will partner with First Nations people and primary schools around the country to teach First Nations languages and culture in schools. Labor’s plan will:

  • Help keep First Nations languages alive.
  • Promote engagement and attendance at school through fostering an increased sense of identity, self-esteem and belonging for First Nations students.
  • Give all Australian kids a deeper understanding and appreciation of First Nations cultures and languages.
  • Create jobs for First Nations people that recognise existing skills and cultural knowledge.

Australians are so lucky to live in this continent that is home to the world’s oldest continuous culture – with 60,000 years of wisdom, knowledge, language and art. Our country is made stronger and richer when we understand and celebrate this history and culture.

Languages help connect people to Country, culture and ancestors, but right now, less than 1 per cent of Australian students are learning an Indigenous language at school.

Teaching Indigenous languages will help engage kids in school, build pride in First Nations cultures and bring Australians together to build our shared future.

Labor will:

An Albanese Labor Government will invest $14 million to partner with sixty primary schools around the country to teach local Indigenous languages and cultural knowledge in schools.

First Nations communities will be placed at the centre of the program, deciding whether they want to share their language and culture with local schools. Where communities decide to participate in the program, they’ll be able to work with schools and regional coordinators to appoint First Nations Educators who will receive training in Education Support to complement existing skills and cultural knowledge, and then be placed in a local primary school.

First Nations Educators will teach language in schools and work with teachers on ways to teach knowledge of local cultures across the curriculum, through classes like art, science and story-telling.

Labor’s plan will create great local jobs for First Nations people and support school attendance for First Nations students. All students will benefit from a richer understanding of country, identity and belonging, as well as the cognitive benefits of learning another language.

The program will be open to application by schools around the country. We’ll prioritise schools with high enrolments of First Nations students and based on need.