The inaugural Torres Strait Language Symposium was held in March 2015 at Gab Titui Cultural Centre on Thursday Island. The theme for the symposium was Empowering Language in our Culture for our Future. We brought together people from across the islands representing all language groups and celebrated our culture and languages together and planned for their future.
The rich cultural practices, knowledge systems and cultural expressions of Torres Strait and Aboriginal people are a source of great strength, resilience and pride. Traditional languages are inextricably linked to culture and as such these two are important aspects of heritage and cannot be considered in isolation
A major outcome of the symposium was the election of a Language Reference Group to oversee the development of the Torres Strait Traditional Languages Plan and Torres Strait Traditional Languages Charter. The Reference Group has met several times over the past 2 years workshopping ideas, consulting with community and drafting these documents.
The Torres Strait Traditional Languages Plan (2016-2019) and Torres Strait Traditional Languages Charter were proudly launched at Gab Titui Cultural Centre on 28th February 2017
Our people speak and use our traditional languages on a daily basis for our culture, our well-being and our spirit.
Culture and language are inseparable and cannot be considered in isolation from each other. The vision of the Torres Strait Traditional Languages Plan incorporates this inter-dependence and recognises the decline in speakers of our traditional languages and the impact that language has on the well-being of all Torres Strait Island and Aboriginal peoples.
The Traditional Languages Plan will facilitate the revitalisation and maintenance of traditional languages by empowering our communities and protecting the rights and inheritance of our people
Click on image to download your copy of the Torres Strait Traditional Languages Plan 2016-2019
The Traditional Languages Charter recognises the aspirations and priorities of Torres Strait and Aboriginal people regarding the future of traditional languages and culture and as a practical guide it provides a way for everyone to actively contribute
Click on image to download your copy of the Torres Strait Traditional Languages Charter
Statement of Commitment
All Torres Strait and Aboriginal peoples with a connection to the Torres Strait have a sovereign and human right to practice culture through the use of traditional languages in private and public life. Through the Charter, we recognise that we all have a role to play in the revitalisation and maintenance of the traditional languages and dialects of the Torres Strait. We are committed to supporting Torres Strait and Aboriginal peoples to speak and use traditional languages on a daily basis for culture, well-being and spirit.
At the conclusion of this symposium the Language Reference Group will hand over responsibility to the Torres Strait Traditional Language Advisory Committee who will oversee the implementation of the Traditional Languages Plan