The Queensland Indigenous Languages Advisory Committee (QILAC) is pleased to release the new interactive languages map of Queensland for community comment.

QILAC is looking forward to receiving feedback on the map from all Queensland communities.

Project initiator, Warrgamay woman and linguist, Bridget Priman, oversaw the research. She believes it is essential that community’s views are respected in relation to how their languages are represented on the map, including spellings, locations and the relationships between languages. Check how your language is represented.

The map compiles community information and academic references to help Queenslanders better appreciate the number and diversity of Indigenous cultures in Queensland.

“We compared all the major maps of First peoples that had been made previously. Each of these were problematic for language workers because there were languages missing, outdated spellings and lacking relational information. ” Says Bridget.

“It was important to make a map that reflects current community view points about how languages are represented.”

Unlike maps made in the past communities can make changes as they are needed, adding languages, changing spelling and linking languages into family groups.

Bridget’s sister Melinda Holden was a key collaborator on the project. “There are more than 300 languages represented in Queensland on this map. It was important to us to show just how dense in culture Queensland is.

“With regard to the knowledge of and support for First languages, Queensland lags behind the other states. Hopefully, this map will be a tool with which people can use to help increase awareness and understanding of the importance and diversity of our precious languages.

“This is a great resource for schools, Government and the general public.”

Manager of First Languages Australia (FLA), Faith Baisden says that the project has been a tremendous success and the tool developed in Queensland is now being populated nationally.

“Australia’s First Languages are a wonderful and precious resource.” She says. “Australia is situated in one of the world’s linguistic hot spots. Australian languages are treasures of international significance. They are a bridge to rich and important information. When a language is lost a deep body of knowledge is lost with it.”

QILAC and FLA work to raise awareness and garner support for Indigenous languages in Queensland and nationally. This project was funded through The Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Indigenous Languages Support Program.