Tennant Creek and the Barkly region has received a boost with the opening of a new Indigenous Language Centre that will engage local Aboriginal communities and support the preservation and maintenance of Indigenous languages across the region.
Minister for Indigenous Affairs and Country Liberals Senator for the Northern Territory, Nigel Scullion, congratulated Papulu Apparr-Kari (PAK) Aboriginal Corporation on the official opening of the Papulu Apparr-kari Multi-Purpose Language Centre.
“The construction of this new building was made possible by a $3.14 million investment from the Northern Territory Aboriginals Benefit Account and will support the preservation of Indigenous language and promote the maintenance of Indigenous culture across the region”, Minister Scullion said.
“The Coalition Government is committed to working in partnership with Indigenous communities and I am pleased to support this priority for the Barkly region.
“I also acknowledge the role of the Aboriginals Benefit Account Advisory Committee in supporting this project.”
Minister Scullion said that the language centre has been built to meet the current business needs and the future expansion and growth of this organisation.
“To support the significant work of this language centre in recording and preserving the cultural heritage and knowledge of the Barkly region’s many Aboriginal languages, this new building has a temperature controlled room for storing language, cultural and media artefacts as well as a library to keep important information on local language and cultural groups that could otherwise be lost.
“I am particularly pleased that 75 per cent of the on-site workforce for the construction of this building were local Aboriginal people.
“In addition to having local Indigenous workforce participation, a number of local businesses were also involved in the construction of this centre, including Aboriginal owned businesses from Tennant Creek.
“I am proud of my record of working with local communities to maximise the benefits of the Coalition Government’s investment in infrastructure by ensuring that local businesses and local residents are front and centre in the delivery of works.”
The Papulu Apparr-kari Indigenous Language Centre is funded to coordinate language activities and projects across the Barkly region including the documentation and translation of Indigenous languages, teaching of Indigenous languages and development of language resources.
The ongoing work of the Language Centre is funded by the Coalition Government through the Indigenous Languages and Arts Programme, which is supporting a network of 22 Indigenous Language Centres across the country, working with communities to protect and preserve approximately 165 languages.