According to National NAIDOC Committee Co-Chair Anne Martin, languages are the breath of life for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The 2017 NAIDOC theme – 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.

‘Aboriginal and Torres Strait languages are not just a means of communication, they express knowledge about everything:  law, geography, history, family and human relationships, philosophy, religion, anatomy, childcare, health, caring for country, astronomy, biology and food’, said Anne Martin.

‘In terms of aged care, ABTSI peoples require that providers and carers are equipped with cultural awareness training, as a sterile clinical atmosphere is foreign to the familiar setting of community.  Carers require awareness of the specific roles that Elders play within each community, the lifestyle of their clients, the need to maintain links with extended family and the importance of spiritual connection to Country can not be underestimated’, said CFAA Training Manager, Dianne Needham.

The team at CFAA acknowledge the custodial owners of the land and the contribution that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders (ABTSI) make to our rich tapestry of Australian society. We celebrate alongside ABTSI peoples, that which makes us all quintessentially, ‘Australian’.

If you identify as an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person, there are a number of government-funded aged care services available for you: https://www.myagedcare.gov.au/aboriginal-andor-torres-strait-islander-people

The Bunbury Museum and Heritage Centre is the first museum enabling Noongar people to speak for themselves, telling their stories and sharing their language. Find our more about the Bunbury Museum and Heritage Centre here: http://bunburymuseum.com.au/SitePages/Home.aspx

Find out more about 2017 NAIDOC Week here: http://www.naidoc.org.au/2017-national-naidoc-theme