NAIDOC WEEK was celebrated at The Rocks with a guest speaker who promoted this year’s message: ‘Our Languages Matter’.

During a morning tea at the Harry Jensen Centre provided by the City of Sydney, Ted Cruse-Stacey declared, ‘Orana meegay, yuiny!’ (Welcome men and women!)

Ted described how 250 indigenous languages were originally spoken across the continent, yet now only 120 are still spoken.

‘Many are at risk of being lost as elders pass on,’ he said.

That’s why it’s important the message that indigenous languages matter needs to be taken seriously, with funding allocated to the ‘wave of activity, with people in many communities working to learn more about their languages, and to ensure they are passed on to the next generation,’ according to NAIDOC.

‘The theme that our languages matter aims to emphasise and celebrate the unique and essential role that indigenous languages play in cultural identity, linking people to their land and water – and in the transmission of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, spirituality and rites, through story and song,’ Ted explained.

Ted, whose father was Kamilaroi from around Moree and mother was a Yuin woman from the south coast, now lives near his mother’s people.



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